Community-Based Art; Dance; Multi-Disciplinary; Contemporary Indigenous Performance
Maura Garcia is a dance artist who collaborates within communities to create stories of identity and place. Originally from North Carolina, Maura is an Indigenous woman (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet) who brings her own mixed-blood southern story to all of her work. Concerns about the perpetuation of Cherokee life-ways, the environment and social justice underlie her creations. She uses her art to empower, to form connections, to uplift Indigenous cultural values and to explore the rhythms of the natural world.
Maura specializes in multi-sensory shows blurring the line between audience and performer. Her repertoire includes solos, group performances incorporating local dancers from the host community and site-specific workincorporating passersby. She also engages the community in the creative process via interactive arts projects and experiential workshops. To realize community programs, she has partnered with different organizations including the Charleston Library Society (SC),Creative Arts in Public & Private Schools (NC),Haskell Indian Nations University (KS),imagiNATIONS Activity Center (DC), Kansas City Indian Center (MO), Lawrence Arts Center(KS) and the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MO).
To craft performances Maura works with core collaborators: sound artist Mark Gabriel Little, dance artist Olivia C. Davies (Metis, Anishnawbe, Welsh) and musician/composer Amado Espinoza (Quechua from Bolivia). Maura is dedicated to engaging artists from diverse backgrounds and has formed project-based collectives with mixed-media artist Alyssa Hinton (Tuscarora/ Osage), Bharata Natyam dancer Anjali Tata Hudson, Ethiopian singer/activist Chachi Tadese, poet/musician Chico Sierra, video artist Robert Parker (Comanche/Kiowa/Athabascan /Tlingit/ Dakota) and multi-media artist Soumitra Dasgupta, among others. She is fascinated by stories that have been hidden and the unexpected connections that arise when they are rediscovered.
Maura has performed throughout North America, notably at: Ackland Art Museum (NC),ArtsCenter (NC), The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts (MN), Dance Place (DC), Embassy of Senegal (DC), Folly Theater (MO), Kansas City Repertory Theater (MO), Lawrence Arts Center (KS), Links Hall (IL), Talking Stick Festival (BC, Canada), Unedited Series (SC), Weesageechak Begins to Dance (ON, Canada), Walker Arts Center (MN) and the Woodland Cultural Centre (ON, Canada).
She has been the recipient of numerous honors: Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Projects Studio Residency Award (MO) in 2009 & 2010, a guest artist studio award from theUniversity of North Carolina’s Department of Dramatic Art (NC) in 2011 & 2012, the Jewish Community Center's Community Arts Fellowship Grant (KS) in 2013, an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant (MO) in 2014 & 2016, a 2015 Rocket Grant Project Award (KS/MO) and was selected toparticipate in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian 2016 Artist Leadership Program. In 2017, Maura was a mentee in the prestigious Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training program. She hopes to continue to have opportunities that will allow her to connect and create with others.