Soup's UP! Welcome Jennifer Lucero to the table!

Jennifer Lucero will be presenting her incredible project, "Birth on the Border" on April 24, 2016 during Frijol Feasts. As a filmmaker and photographer, Jennifer has spent extensive time documenting, learning about and sharing stories about expectant families, birth and new mothers. She has experience in public health, having done advocacy work for people with HIV/AIDS and limited access to health care. Check out her projects here and here. Enjoy learning about her and her work! CC: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and your practice... How do you work best and what is important to you? JL: I've always been intrigued to write and listen to stories. When I had to enter the adult world, I realized that my love for stories could be expressed through capturing life through a lens. Currently I work as a photographer and multimedia artist. I work best when I'm creating a piece of work that will empower others because that is what is important to me.

CC: Where do art and community meet? How can that point of contact help to shape a community? JL: Art and community meet in a space called LIFE. Every day is an act of art and every person's personal experience can be used to teach and inspire the community to grow in a positive way. CC: What do you think El Paso needs? What do artists need in El Paso? JL: El Paso and artists in El Paso need places to connect. Those places can be public spaces or private businesses. But we need places that encourage people to talk, share, perform, and even eat. Those are all acts that bring people together and through those experiences, art is made. Not only that, people enjoy the art that is made and there are even economic advantages to all this going down! CC: What support would you like to see in place for artists working in El Paso? JL: I think I'm already seeing the support happening for artists slowly emerging from all parts of the city. I've seen more initiative from the City of El Paso to support local artists as well as ongoing artist markets, art shows and even more independent cinema being screened publicly. Of course, I would love to see it reach a level that can sustain more artists financially but I'm sure we're working very hard to attain that goal for a near future. CC: What's the dream? If our community could have it all, what would "all" of it include? Where/how/when do artists fit into your dreams for our community?

JL: I believe the dream is that every person in our community feels supported financially and emotionally- so that we can express our lives in any manner we desire..without worrying about how we are going to pay our next bill.. Artists get discouraged because in their hearts they want to create but have a hard time paying the bills. Really talented people don't get connected to the right resources because no one showed them how to use their passion to fuel their life. I think we could be a community that shows every person that they can still pursue their artistic desires and provide for themselves at the same time. It would encourage so many people and make the community a happier place to live in. .

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