We are very excited to welcome Chicago-native/New York-based Ricardo Gamboa as our Summer Artist-in-Residence. Ricardo will be facilitating The Paleta Project, a series of outdoor spectacles based around paleta carts. He’ll be working with youth 14-19 to generate the performances, which will be staged in parks and public spaces around the city. He’ll also be offering free performance workshops open to all ages, and showing excerpts from his work in progress. Read about the project and catch Ricardo’s bio below:
The Paleta Project
Paletas are the colorful, delicious popsicles popping into the hands of Chicagoans from carts pushed most often by Mexican immigrants. This traditional street fare becomes street fair with Free Street Theater’s latest endeavor in collaboration with artist and activist Ricardo Gamboa. As summer Artist-in-Residence Gamboa will hustle with Free Street teens to create spectacle performances for Chicago Park District and street interventions using paletas, paleta carts, and questions of community importance.
Gamboa and teens will examine everything from commodity and tradition, to notions of exchange and transaction, and class and mobility through highly physical, comedic, and socially conscious performance. Gamboa will also be conducting workshops for community residents as well as developing his own paleta cart performance as part of his summer residency with Free Street.
About Ricardo Gamboa
Ricardo Gamboa in an artist, activist, and academic working mostly in New York City and his native Chicago.
In Chicago, Gamboa was a Company Member of Barrel of Monkeys and founding Artisti Director of Teatro Americano, a theater company creating work with, by and for the city Latino immigrant community and diaspora. He was recipient of the CAAP Grant, MacArthur Foundation International Connections Award, ImPACT Latino Playwright Award, and his first short, The Southside Has Many Beauty Queen received Best Short at the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
In 2010, Gamboa moved to New York City where he was Associate Producer and National Youth and Engagement Coordinator for ScenariosUSA, EmergeNYC fellow at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, developed his Border Jump-Off Short Film Series, Company Member of New York Neo-Futurists, featured performer at queer venue Low Standards, and received his M.A. in Arts Politics from New York University.
His first feature film MAYDAY just premiered at the Chicago Latino Film Festival. He is currently developing his next feature, creating performance and media work with guidance of Coya Paz and Karen Finley, in-residence at the National Museum of Mexican Arts Yollocalli ArtsReach, and pursuing his Ph.D. in American Studies, also at NYU. Gamboa has worked with over 5,000 young people in the U.S. in Mexico.