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Douglas, AZ

Jenea was born and raised in Douglas, AZ / Agua Prieta, SON. After receiving her MFA from Arizona State University in 2011, she returned to her hometown to pursue a career as an artist and educator. She is a fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture’s Leadership Institute and currently a faculty member at Cochise College in the Digital Media Arts Program.  She is the co-founder of Border Arts Corridor, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit arts organization providing the borderlands community an immersive arts district through bi-national art walks, workshops, performances, public dialogues and artist residencies.

“The year-long process of conducting interviews in Douglas and Agua Prieta was a true gift. We were invited into homes and even conducted interviews while commuters waited in line to cross the border. The storytellers inspired us to explore the complexities of crossing literal and figurative borders for love through dance, theatre, and visual art.”

Jenea Sanchez Official Headshot.jpg
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Agua Prieta, SON

Ammi is a recent graduate of Cochise College with an Associate’s Degree in Communications. Ammi plans to pursue a career in Acting and Filmmaking but is currently a performer and digital artist working on her photography and independent short films. She was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, but raised in Agua Prieta. She has also served as a China Poblana representing the city from 2015-2016. This year she has done service as an English-Spanish interpreter for organizations such as Alight (American Refugee Committee) and CAME (Centro de Atención

al Migrante Exodus). She is currently the production coordinator of the performance Mis Amores Fronterizos,.

“Our border community shares more than a tall wall and some razor wire, it shares faces, bittersweet stories of love, and art.”

Ammi Robles Official Headshot.jpg
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Phoenix, AZ

Xanthia is a theatre artist, director, facilitator, producer, and educator. She works locally, nationally, and internationally on artistic projects that center collaboration with young people as leaders and co-creators. She is co-founder and Producing Artistic Collaborator of Rising Youth Theatre, awarded as 2014 Outstanding New Theatre by American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Current Rising Youth works include Face to Face, about the intersection of race, class, and age (2020); and Light Rail Plays, an annual site-specific public transportation play (2013-2020). Other favorite projects include directing the world premiere of Marvin Gonzalez de León’s Haboob (2017). Her writing is featured in the anthology Staging Social Justice: Collaborating to Create Activist Theatre. Xanthia was named the 2015 Phoenix New Times Big Brain award winner in Performing Arts. 

“By performing literally at the border, and staging a community celebration- a binational party and performance- the work is inviting audiences to reflect together in the spaces between the border wall on how we have and can continue to dissolve it.”

Xanthia Walker Official Headshot.jpg
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Phoenix, AZ/ Agua Prieta, SON

Paula Ortega is a proud Salvadoreña and Mexicana and was raised in Agua Prieta, Son. Paula is a Transforming Artistic Collaborator with Rising Youth Theatre, and has worked on over 10 Rising Youth productions in her five years with the organization. She is also a teaching artist for Rising Youth, leading residencies with elementary and high school students. She is a co-founder of RE:Frame Youth Arts Center. She is a full-time double major student at Phoenix College. 

“No importa cuánto tiempo esté fuera de mi cultura yo siempre me conectaré. Un muro no eliminará mi derecho de ser libre.”

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Tucson, AZ

Yvonne is a mother, dancemaker, international artist, consultant, independent dance scholar and founding director of Safos Dance Theatre based in Tucson, AZ. Originally from Albuquerque, NM, Montoya is a process-based dancemaker who creates low tech site specific and site adaptive pieces for non-traditional dance spaces. Her work is grounded in and inspired by the landscapes, languages, cultures, and the aesthetics of the U.S. Southwest. Montoya is the lead choreographer for Safos and under her direction, the company won the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s Lumie Award for Emerging Organization in 2015. She is currently working on “Stories from Home” a series of movement vignettes based on her family’s oral histories. 2017-2018 Montoya was a Post-Graduate Fellow in Dance at Arizona State University where she founded and organized the inaugural Dance in the Desert: A Gathering of Latinx Dancemakers. Montoya is a 2019-2020 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, a 2019-2020 Dance/USA Artist Fellow, and a recipient of the 2019 NALAC POD grant. She is a member of Las Fronterizas, an intergenerational and international ensemble of women artists that creates multidisciplinary art projects across geopolitical borders. She also continues to work as a thought leader and collaborator on Dance in the Desert.

“This work centers the stories, experiences, and expertise of artists who live and create in Douglas and Agua Prieta.”

Yvonne Montoya Official Headshot.jpg
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Agua Prieta, SON

América is a dancer in the Mexican folkloric dance company Ángeles de Agua Prieta in Casa de la Cultura in Agua Prieta. She has performed across Sonora and Arizona: Cananea, Fronteras, Esqueda , Nacozari, Santa Cruz, Hermosillo, Douglas , Bisbee, Sierra Vista, Tombstone, Tucson, and Phoenix participating in competitions, national holidays, and summer recitals. For a year, she was part of "Explosion Dance Studio" and she participated in city parades. She was part of the cheerleading team in high school, and captain of the modern dance group known as "Doll Dancers." She performed at "Day of the Dead Las Vegas Springs Preserve" in Las Vegas for three consecutive years. America danced in a show for Pedro Fernandez in Indio California and Santa Ynez, California. She also performed in the 2018 binational event called "Without Borders." She is currently a third-year student at CBTis 81 public high school. After graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in performing arts.

“We will give an opportunity for people in the community to be a part of this, adults and young people collaborating in any area of the arts.”

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