Maria de la Rosa earned both her BA and MA from Stanford University. For 20 years she has devoted her talents to the performance and production of dance in the Folklorico traditions of Mexico. Her works have been performed at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in 1999 and 2002. Featured in 2002 in the San Jose Mercury News as “Champion of the Arts”, Maria has taught Folklorico dance extensively in San Jose regional schools, has served as dance consultant for San Jose Ballet, is
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
It felt good to be acknowledged in my art form, sort of an acceptance of traditional arts as "real art." Standing alongside the likes of Gary, Bih-Tau and of course Dennis - modern dance, ballet and Mexican folkloric dance - felt good. It reaffirmed my love of my native, multicultural San Jos?/Silicon Valley.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
I work as an Art and Education Specialist at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond. In addition to my faculty role in Mexican Music and Dance, I am a performer with the resident company and I develop arts-integrated curriculum in a professional development program for elementary school teachers in West Contra Costa County School District. I also perform throughout the Bay Area with my music collective, D?aPa'Son, and continue to develop projects that promote son (a form of traditional Mexican music and dance). In 2014 I did a project at La Pe?a in Berkeley that produced four new sones and I was recently awarded a National Performance Network Creation Fund award for new works.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
You must remain passionate about your art form and be driven to practice it because of that passion. This is also where you will always find your source of inspiration and your creativity.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
multicultural fusions, competitive*, adaptive, indispensable (*in the sense of funding, too)
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