Jun 5, 2020
Odyssey has featured a lot of voices over the years, and we love all our storytellers and our community, but the fact of the matter is that a whole lot of those storytellers have been White. And considering everything happening in our country right now in the aftermath of the lynching of George Floyd, the murders of Breanna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and all the other people who have been killed or injured by the police over the course of the last ten days, I think it’s important right now to be elevating the voices of people of color rather than White people who, let’s be honest, get our voices elevated all the time. So here’s what we’re doing for the next several weeks here on the Odyssey Storytelling Podcast. We’re going to take individual storytellers from the shows we released in their complete forms – so, the hour-long full live shows that we’ve done since starting the podcast – and release their stories as individual episodes, and all the storytellers who get this treatment will be people of color. We’re also currently taking new stories from people of color and will be featuring those over the next several weeks, as well, so please contact us if you’re a PoC and you’d like to tell a podcast exclusive story. Black Lives Matter, and the stories of non-White people matter, as well. I hope you appreciate, enjoy, and learn from them.
First up, Paco Velez, who, as part of the June 2017 Hiccups show, talked about his personal journey as an artist and as a human being. From Paco's Odyssey bio:
Paco Velez born and raised In the border town of Nogales Sonora Mexico 114 kilometers north of Ts-iuk-shan (Tucson). Velez is an internationally recognized artist working with mixed media, painting, performance art, installation art , video art and muralist. Velez’s artistic expression is informed by the tensions of the U.S./Mexico border; “Art transcends all Borders”. Velez is co-founder and co-director of Tucson’s Studio ONE: A Space for Art and Activism located in downtown Tucson. Studio ONE is home for many grassroots movements and local and international up and coming artists. Velez’ other interests and activities involve mental and physical efforts done in order to achieve a positive changes in our community : Velez is also the Prevention Programs Manager at Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation managing youth programs focusing on harm reduction for LGTBQ and at risk Youth.
This story was performed and recorded in front of a live audience at The Screening Room in Tucson, AZ, on June 1st, 2017, and was curated by Sarah K. Smith. It was originally released on June 29th, 2017, as part of the episode June 2017: Hiccups. For more information about Odyssey Storytelling, please visit www.odysseystorytelling.com.