Combining hip-hop theater, spoken word, video and a gangster puppet show, Mr. Flores portrays numerous characters that live in San Francisco’s Mission District, including Latino bohemians, techies, and immigrants, to confront the issue of gentrification and its effect on local communities.
PAUL FLORES is a published poet, performance artist, playwright and well known spoken word artist. His work explores the intersection of urban culture, Hip-Hop and transnational identity. Flores’ PEN Award winning novel Along the Border Lies reflects his youth spent between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego developing a border consciousness. His spoken word poem “Brown Dreams” from Def Poetry on HBO has been viewed on YouTube nearly 100,000 times, and continues to inform and influence young people all over the United States. In May 2011, Flores was named the San Francisco Weekly’s 2011 Best Politically Active Hip-Hop Performance Artist. His play REPRESENTA! was directed by Danny Hoch, produced by San Francisco International Arts Festival and premiered at the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in 2007 at La Pena Cultural Center. Flores is a highly respected youth arts development specialist. As a co-founder of Youth Speaks, he introduced spoken word to hundreds of thousands of youth all over the country, from native reservations, to public schools, to juvenile halls, to counseling centers. He helped develop the national platform for young people to build peer relationships and strategize toward a better future through the Brave New Voices: National Teen Poetry Slam, now seen on HBO. Flores has twice received the National Performance Network’s Creation Fund, and was recently awarded his third CCI Investing in Artists Grant, an NEA Theater grant and a NALAC Fund for the Arts grant. He now teaches Hip-Hop Theater and Spoken Word at the University of San Francisco.