Cievel Xicohtencatl joined our team as our Community Engagement Manager in September 2018. Get to know more about her!
How did you get connected with The LP?
I first volunteered with LP at the 2017 Fish Parade at Hunts Point and then became a 2018 Create Change Fellow based at the Kelly Street Collaborative Space.
What are you most excited about as you begin your time at The LP?
As an artist and community organizer, I’m looking forward to working closely with the variety of communities the LP touches in Hunts Point, all who are not only artists, organizers, and creative makers but families and amazing people who make up the social fabric of the neighborhood.
What is one of your favorite food?
My favorite food is pozóle which is a hominy corn based stew from Mexico. Its like Mexican sancocho, a very hearty and rich dish with lots of meat and veggies. Perfect for guarding off a cold.
Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?
What propelled my interest in art was graffiti, not only because of the colorful aesthetic and it being a vehicle for endless possibilities of expression but because of its deep roots and role in a variety of social movements throughout the world. Street art and graffiti was my entry way into the realm of protest art and expression––these continue to inspire me over and over.
In what neighborhood do you currently live in?
Upper West Side (105th & Columbus)
Where do you do your laundry?
I have the privilege of being able to live in the same neighborhood I grew up in. The laundromat I use is the same where my mom and I have worked for, just right below the building. I know for a fact that its the best common place to find and connect with neighbors.
In your opinion, why does art matter?
Art matters because it’s simply an extension of our human expression and a right that everyone should have access to and be encouraged to pursue in whichever capacity.
Our first full-time Community Engagement Manager, Cievel Xicohtencatl is a multidisciplinary artist and cultural organizer. She graduated from CUNY Hunter College and served as Community Relations Coordinator for Friends of the High Line. Cievel is responsible for leading The LP’s work at Kelly Street Collaborative, engaging neighbors and artists through residencies, fellowships, public, and educational programs. You can follow her creative practice at colibrixicohte.wordpress.com or @xicohte.