VALENTINA ORTIZ

VALENTINA ORTIZ
New York, NY
Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Choral/Vocal Music, Dance/Movement, Improvisation, Instrumental Music, Storytelling
English, Spanish, French
Adult Day Care, After School Program, College/University, Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, K-12 Schools, Library, Nursing Home, Senior Center
I am a bilingual, bicultural artist, storyteller, writer and musician from Mexico. I have worked in marginal communities of my country for over 10 years as a teaching artist and as a creator of the programs. I am founder of the nonprofit association Zazanilli Cuentos A.C. through which I developed music, dance and storytelling residencies with older adults, persons with cognitively impaired and with teenagers in community centers. I have published 3 books and produced 2 records with the communities I have worked with; 2 other records and one book show my personal work as a storyteller and musician. I have specialized in the promotion of diversity and respect for the environment; I promote the need to learn and care for our native languages.
I have worked with older adults in community settings for 9 years and I think helping to open spaces for these persons to speak and be heard is very important. Present day urban society has osterized the aging as if they were nothing but a social burden yet I believe they are pure power: they have life experience, they are the connection with our cultural roots, they have a strong sense of community, they are natural educators within their family settings and they have time to share. Many a times I have encountered that they have a wonderful sense of humour and are very wise in many areas of knowledge. They are beholders of local history and it is very important at these present times of gentrification and extreme individuality to register and promote the local history as a way of keeping communities united and active. Likewise I have experienced and enjoyed seeing how the older of age flourish when they get involved in the arts and see the true impact they can have on others through their expression pieces. Many of their physical and psychological ailments are cured once they are active with the projects and feel as an important part of a group of people. I am interested in sharing my art with older adults in community settings because I truly enjoy it, it inspires me as an artist and I learn as a human being.