Meet Claro de los Reyes
May 6, 2015
Meet our 2015 Commissioned Artists!
Can you tell us about an experience during your Fellowship with The LP that inspired you or shifted how you approach your creative practice?
There were many lessons I learned as a Create Change Fellow in 2013 but one moment that stands out happened when I was helping facilitate the tote bag designing station at the Field Day at Hunt Point, Bronx 2013. Working the station I was witness to how a simple activity like designing tote bags was highly effective in bringing community members together. Furthermore, I was also able to see how the art activity encouraged conversation between community members and witnessing this happen further solidified to me how creative and celebratory activities can help build community.
Please tell us of an artist, curator, activist, or project that has influenced you or inspired you.
The legacy of the late Yuri Kochiyama continues to inspire me. Her life long commitment to serve and support marginalized peoples across color lines encourages me to continue on the paths she helped pave. Coalition building doesn’t seem such a distant concept when I reflect on the countless achievements of Yuri Kochiyama.
Please tell us about a place in your neighborhood that is personally meaningful to you, and why?
To me that subway stop currently named Atlantic Ave./ Barclay’s Center will forever be Atlantic Ave. / Pacific Street to me. I continue to call it its former name mainly out of habit due the years I spent passing through the stop. But perhaps it’s more that that. Atlantic/Pacific has always signaled to me that I was almost home; that I was one stop away from Union (street). It was/is a place between arrival and departing. But perhaps it’s even more that; perhaps it in the name: Atlantic/ Pacific – a metaphor of my biography. I was born in an archipelago by the Pacific ocean but I spent the most years of my life finding my home at a place where Atlantic meets Pacific.
What is your favorite book, film or song about NYC?
A book about NYC that remains significant in my life is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.
Read about Claro’s 2015 Commissioned Project here.
Check out Claro’s Creative Conversation with Shani Peters.
Claro is a Brooklyn-based theatre artist and filmmaker who views art-making as means to further community building, cross-cultural exchange, and the honoring of local cultures & heritage.
His artistic practice spans from performing on Off-Broadway stages to making theatre & film alongside community members in the NY area, the Philippines, and Rwanda.