By Cristina Vázquez
Over a year ago I became one of the first Mexican women to be a member of Managers and Agents of the Performing Arts of North America, NAPAMA as this association is better known, which emerged in 1979 and is headed by an African-American woman, Gail Boyd.
And shortly afterwards, the Mexican Committee was formed within the organization, of which I am a part together with cultural producer, consultant and manager Claudia Norman and internationalist, specialist in the performing arts and artistic representative Pablo Solís, with the purpose of consolidating its North American vocation since the existence of the Canadian Committee is longer.
The official presentation of the Mexican Committee took place just last May 17 and 18, 2021, within the annual NAPAMA retreat, which was held virtually, in a couple of round tables moderated by Leah Keith, producer and agent of the Rhythm of the Arts company, and Lynn Fisher.
Fisher, in addition to being a member of the board of directors of NAPAMA alongside Leah, has worked in the management and contracting of Mexican artists in the US. She is the founder and director of Frontera Arts and manager of the Mexican company Delfos Danza Contemporánea.
My main mission as a producer, programmer and cultural manager at Contenidos Artísticos in the Mexican Committee is to foster alliances and a permanent dialogue between colleagues in the performing arts, from both sides of the border, and to bring more Mexican artists to the United States.
Contenidos Artísticos has managed to attract a dozen Mexican members for NAPAMA, taking advantage of the fact that registration to the association is and will be free until November of this year at least.
Among those who have entered are Cézar Barajas, coordinator of artistic programming at the Santander Ensemble of Performing Arts, located in Guadalajara; Álvaro Lara, director of artistic programming at the State Institute of Culture of Guanajuato; Mónica Frías, director of Verbigracia, an agency for the cultural and artistic management of musical groups, and dancer, producer and cultural manager Ireri Mugica, among others.
At the NAPAMA retreat, we announced some of the activities planned by the Mexican Committee, such as the webinar How to tour in Mexico ?, scheduled for June 23, at 12 pm Central Standard Time (CST), and 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). It’s purpose is to approach the subject from the governmental perspective, focused on the central region of the country, as well as from the independent experience.
The panelists are to be Katia Nilo, director of artistic and cultural development at the Cultural Institute of León, where she is in charge of the executive direction of the National Book Fair and the management of the International Contemporary Art Festival, and Eugenio Elías, co-creator and co-director of the company DeQuinta Producciones,
dedicated to promoting and producing series of jazz concerts and conferences, such as New York Jazz All Stars, as well as being co-founder of Zinco Jazz Club in Mexico City.
In the second round table of the NAPAMA retreat I told Americans interested in doing tours in Mexico that the two great moments of the year to program in the country are during April-May, when government funds have already been released, and October -November, a period in which a large number of cultural activities take place, such as the International Cervantino Festival, the most important festival of its kind in Latin America, held in the city of Guanajuato.
The Mexican Committee of NAPAMA also has contemplated a talk in August with Mexican managers and a second webinar in the fall with agents and managers from the United States to learn about their needs and give continuity to the exchange of performing artists between both nations.
Although the June webinar is aimed only at NAPAMA members, if the topic is of interest to you, you can contact me through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org or become a member of the organization now that it has no cost. You will then also be able to access programs such as the Mentoring and Peer Coaching, in which a professional provides advice on any topic related to the performing arts industry.
Cristina Vázquez, director of Contenidos Artísticos Production and Diffusion, is a cultural manager, programmer and producer. One of her main purposes is to promote the circulation of the Performing Arts.
Mexican, from the city of León, she graduated from the Communication Sciences career and continued her training as a cultural manager with studies from the National Council for Culture and the Arts and in 17, the Institute of Critical Studies, where she obtained the Cultural Management Certificate from the Critical Entrepreneurship.
Cristina Vázquez has the strong conviction that going to meet new viewers, both in Mexico and in the United States and other countries, contributes to fighting stereotypes, opening new communication channels and forming communities.
Her quest is to create lasting relationships between audiences, artists and institutions. The expansion of audiences, she thinks, generates knowledge and understanding among the inhabitants of this global village.
In 2012 she founded Contenidos Artísticos, a firm dedicated to the programming, production and dissemination of artistic and cultural projects, based in Mexico, which is complemented, since 2015, with Contenidos Artísticos INC, based in Chicago, Illinois.
With the multidisciplinary collaboration of important allies, Cristina Vázquez advised the Municipality of Zacatecas in the elaboration of its Cultural Development Plan and coordinated the National Book Fair (Fenal) from 2006 to 2009. Since 2016, she has been collaborating permanently with the Cultural Institute of León in various programming and production projects.
She was a programmer at the Teatro del Bicentenario in León, has worked with the Teatro Juárez in Guanajuato and developed and operated the urban meeting “Todo sobre Ruelas” in Zacatecas.
In addition, in 2012 and 2013 she produced and programmed the José Alfredo Jiménez International Festival, which pays tribute to the great Mexican icon and singer-songwriter, in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato.
Since 2013 she works for the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL). She has produced and coordinated important projects with the Mexican National Ballet Company having as headquarters the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Juárez Theater, during the Cervantino Festival, as well as with the National Opera Company and the National Theater Coordination. In 2019, she began a collaboration with the National Center for the Arts (CENART) by producing the International Black and White Piano Festival.
In 2018, she made alliances with agencies in the United States for the circulation of the performing arts in Mexico. This is how she presented Fuse, a group based in Italy, with its multimedia performance Dökk and the Colombian company Sankofa Danzafro with its acclaimed show La ciudad de los otros.
Through Contenidos Artísticos INC, the production agency, for the past five years she has focused on bicultural work between Mexico and the United States. Her work has been to find spaces for Mexican artists to present themselves on the other side of the border, while contributing to the construction of an image of Mexican culture and art that transcends the folkloric.
In 2017 she introduced the Mexican poet Rojo Córdoba, who worked with Spoken Word groups, in Chicago. And the following year she promoted three Mexican bands: Troker, electronic jazz; Doble Redoble, contemporary cumbia, and Sonido Gallo Negro, a psychedelic cumbia group for which she organized a tour in the United States. This in conjunction with various Latino festivals and organizations in Chicago, such as the Mole de Mayo Festival. Thanks to these alliances, she has produced tours for artists from Chicago and other cities in the United States in Mexico.
During November 2018, she invited Mexican programmers to see, both in Chicago and New York, the work of Manual Cinema, a multidisciplinary company that combines cinematographic techniques with shadow theater, sound and music to create immersive experiences.
She co-produces the Tania Pérez-Salas Company since 2018. During 2019 she worked on the organization of their tour through Mexico, the United States and Canada, which would take place in the following year.
As of January 20, 2020, Vázquez is the first Mexican woman to be part of the Board of Directors of the Association of Professionals for the Performing Arts (APAP), which emerged in 1957 in the United States and is a world leader in this cultural field. One of their main tasks is to participate and promote REDI (Racial Equity Diversity and Inclusion) policies.
The great pragmatism and permanent professionalism of Cristina Vázquez has allowed her to contribute to the artistic and cultural development of Mexico and its international projection.
Versión en español
Cristina Vázquez, directora de Contenidos Artísticos Producción y Difusión, es gestora cultural, programadora y productora. Uno de sus propósitos principales es fomentar la interculturalidad a través de la circulación de las artes.
Concibe la interculturalidad como el encuentro, la interacción y reconstrucción de las distintas culturas locales. En palabras del experto argentino Carlos Moneta, permite comparar formas de vida y establecer comunicaciones portadoras de imágenes, valores y contenidos que afectan las identidades más allá de la nacionalidad.
En 2012 fundó Contenidos Artísticos, firma dedicada a la programación, producción y difusión de proyectos artísticos y culturales, con sede en México, que se complementa, desde 2015, con Contenidos Artísticos INC, con sede en Chicago, Illinois.
A través de Contenidos Artísticos INC, la agencia productora, se ha enfocado desde hace un lustro en el trabajo bicultural entre México y Estados Unidos. Su labor ha sido la de buscar espacios para que los artistas mexicanos se presenten del otro lado de la frontera, aportando a la vez la construcción de una imagen de la cultura y el arte mexicano que trasciende lo folclórico.
Esa apertura de espacios permite visualizar, en ambos países, que las artes escénicas son una herramienta indispensable para construir un intercambio artístico de calidad permanente y atender a la diversidad de públicos.
Originaria de León, Guanajuato, Vázquez es egresada de la carrera de Ciencias de la Comunicación y
continuó su formación como gestora cultural con 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos.
El gran pragmatismo y la permanente profesionalización de Cristina Vázquez le han permitido coadyuvar
al desarrollo artístico y cultural de México y su proyección a nivel internacional.
A partir del 20 de enero de 2020, Vázquez es la primera mujer mexicana en formar parte del Consejo Directivo de la Asociación de Profesionales de las Artes Escénicas (APAP por sus siglas en inglés), surgida en 1957 en Estados Unidos y líder a nivel mundial en este ámbito cultural.
Recientemente organizó la gira de la Compañía Tania Pérez-Salas por México, Estados Unidos y Canadá, pero debido a la pandemia derivada del coronavirus el grupo de danza contemporánea únicamente alcanzó a dar un par de funciones, el 13 y 14 de marzo, en el Teatro Juárez de Guanajuato con el apoyo de EFIDANZA.