NFAND Ep. 131 – Mino Lora, People’s Theatre Project

in Notes From A Native Daughter/Politics/Theater by

Happy New Year! My sincerest best wishes and blessings for 2021.

The Future is here sinister and in full mode of operation. True that, lots of good stuff and plenty of fabulous people to make up, at least in the life-is-worth-living sense, for the super fucked up ones leading towards destruction.

I’m not convinced 2021 is going to straighten out much of the wreck. Aside from adopting a look on the bright side attitude, I say let’s be ready for a brave new way because this ship is in high waters with cyclone winds. But it’s the new year, and I’m glad it’s new.

Following the adage, think globally, act locally, Mino Lora, founding executive director of the People’s Theatre Project is running for a City Council seat representing District 11 in the Bronx (my residential district). I think she’s the first theater artist running for public office, at least for District 11.

She stands apart, but not alone. Let your people know.

Norwood News’ José A. Giralt wrote a nice piece on her, adding: “Her prior experience with fundraising in the arts has helped her launch her candidacy for City Council. She now has the support of 200 donors, and more than $17,000 in contributions. With city matching funds, she expects to exceed $100,000 in initial campaign fundraising. She is not accepting any contributions from corporate PACs, the fossil fuel industry, law enforcement unions or real estate developers.”

I don’t recall reading about theater artists running for public office as of late? And for that, she caught my heart. She’s a rare breed representing. I’m supporting her and I’m not supposed to as a City employee (I cover this during our talk.) I’m not doing a few other things in relation to this, to stay as straight as I can with this matter. But times are dire, and we need new approaches to leadership; and for the most part, artists bring that to any table. So, in favor of arts programs in schools and arts in general as an essential force for society’s advancement, I stand by Mino.

Ronald Reagan in Hollywood and all that jazz is one thing; another is a Latina/Dominican woman creating something from nothing that transforms lives in her community. And she can prove it. As an executive director of sought-after art in education program, her evolution and maturity have earned her much respect. Deserved. I love Mino’s commitment to the arts and theater as a formative anchor and her energy and sincerity are heard in this first convo for NFAND 2021.

For one last thing on theater, read “In the Service of Change” by Arnaldo J. López, for Pregones/PRTT.



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