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GABRIELA GARCIA MEDINA's Artist Bio INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS: Gabriela Garcia Medina is an international spoken word artist and award winning poet. She has performed at Colleges, Festivals, and Conferences all over the world. From the World Social Forum, Brazil (2004) to Havana Jazz Plaza (2001), her poetry has taken her to places such as South Africa, Cuba, Brazil, Switzerland and all over the United States.
Her book "Ink-Scribing Oshun" has been touring Nationally since November 2006. Also in the works is her next book "In the Wake of Oya" due in Spring 07. TELEVISION APPEARANCES: Gabriela has performed her poetry for numerous television stations. Most recent is her national commercial for Dove Oil Cream Body Wash which features her poetry and performance on the ad. Some other noted television appearances are on Local stations KCET Tv, SiTv and some poetry pilot shows for NBC and MTV. Gabriela has also performed several times on KPFK's pacifica radio 90.7FM, and KPFA in San Francisco.
NATIONAL COLLEGE CONFERENCES AND FESTIVALS: Nationally, Gabriela Garcia Medina has been invited to participate in Festivals at many prestigious Colleges and Universities. She has performed at the Yale University Peabody Museum for the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Festival (2007); The Annual Malcolm X Festival at Audobon Middle School, The Empowering Womyn of Color Conference at UC Berkeley (2005); The I.E. Hip Hop Theatre Festival at UC Riverside (2005), The Latina Youth Empowerment Conference at Santa Monica Community College (2005, 2006), The MeCha Statewide Conference at Cal State Fullerton (2005), The Social Justice Summit at Cal State Fullerton (2006), Sarah Lawrence University (New York), and all over the country she has been invited to perform for Womyn's History Month, Latino Heritage Month, Human Trafficking Awareness Week, Palestine Awareness week, AIDS Awareness Week, among numerous others.
HIGH SCHOOLS AND NON PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS-PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS: Gabriela has also been commissioned by national non-profit organizations to facilitate and lead performance workshops at Elementary Schools, Junior Highs and High Schools all over the country. In 2006 she was invited to perform at the Los Angeles Youth Conference sponsored by the Native Children and People's Alliance, hosted at Cal. State LA. She has facilitated spoken word and creative writing as social justice workshops for MALDEF's youth leadership program CREATE, APALC's youth program at Alhambra High School, Cleveland High School's Social Justice Festival. Gabriela was also an invited performer and panelist at the United Teacher's of Los Angeles (UTLA) Conference in March 2006. Gabriela has taught Spoken word as self-empwoerment at ArtShare LA to young womyn of color, and has taught Performance as Self Awareness to the young womyn of color at The Girl Blue Project (2006). She has been a guest artist at The Festival of Philippino Arts and Culture (FPAC), Pilgrim Pine Youth Camp, KMB, and Self Help Graphics and Art in East Los Angeles and she has been invited as a motivational speaker to many youth conferences, graduations, and community functions, to name a few. FILM: She is the lead actress in Smokin' Mirrors Production "Students like Us". A film which addresses the structural and institutional difficulties affecting Latinos in Higher Education (a film which is currently touring prestigious international film festivals).
THEATRE: Gabriela was also a member of the Latino Theatre Company Lab for two years, bringing social awareness and quality productions to the Latino/a Community of Los Angeles. Based out of Downtown LA'S Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) and under the mentorship and guidance of legendary Director Jose Luis Valenzuela, she played a part in the re-telling of History/ Herstory from the Latino/a Perspective. COLLECTIVES: Also a founding member of WISE Collective (Womyn Inspiring Spiritual/Social Expression, Gabriela along with 5 other womyn of color lead performances and workshops for young womyn throughout LAUSD schools and Southern California Universities promoting a self sustainable economy through art and community. Also a member of Tribe of the Diasporas, a grassroots collective of artists, teachers, educators and activists using art for social justice. Gabriela was also Managing Director of The Human Writes Project (2004-2007) an organization composed of artists, poets and emccess utilizing the medium of spoken word, poetry and hip hop as a way to advocate social change. And from 2002-2005, Gabriela was Project Director for the Soze Project, an Arts Outreach Project sponsored by UCLA's Community Program's Office and non-profit organization Equal Opportunity Productions, where she worked with 5 th grade students from LAUSD schools providing arts as a tool for self empowerment.
CLOTHING LINE: Amidst all this amalgamation of her activism, her teaching, motivational speaking, community advocate, and artist; Gabriela has founded a clothing line, Labor de Amor, as a physical expression through clothing of her instinctual and innate talent to put spirit into wearable art. Her clothing line is inspired by a mixture of the culture of her ancestors and the spirituality of the Orishas mixed with the urban art/hip hop culture that she exists in. Her clothing can be found at select stores some of which are: Blue Chips in Highland Park, LA, Imix Books and Gallery in Eaglerock, LA, Rock Paper Scissors in Oakland, CA and online.
COLLEGE BACKGROUND: Gabriela is a graduate of UCLA's School of Theatre Film and Television with a Major in Theatre and a Minor in Chicana/o Studies, merging her classical training with her cultural knowledge and political consciousness to enhance the empowerment potential of her poetry, her performances, her art and her workshops.
MOST RECENT AND UPCOMING PROJECTS: Some of Gabriela's upcoming projects are the release of her new book "In the Wake of Oya" to be released in Spring of 07; the release of her CD in Winter 07, A National Womyn's Spoken Word Tour, independent film projects, among other still in the works. Gabriela is also working on creating an alternative curriculum for colleges, high schools and universities that use spoken word, hip hop theatre and poetry as a way to redefine history and to advocate for social equality. In the meantime….she continues to uplift through poetry and create community through art.