educator, artist, cultural organizer
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Riparia

Riparia is an ongoing performance project motivated by my interest in storytelling as a potent and ancient form of popular edutainment. Specifically, I am interested in how storytelling and interactive performance generate curiosity and exchange between performer and audience, and allow participants to learn more about the place they inhabit.

Riparia conducts ‘Web of Life Card Readings’ using a (still-evolving) deck of cards, emblazoned with images representing ecological and political themes.  Tapping into popular interest in ‘fortune-telling’, Riparia does not claim to augur the future. Rather, the act of pulling cards effects a temporary, introspective space in which people are guided in responding to the images, reflecting on their relationship to the land, to their communities and to the forces of destruction and restoration. Riparia also utilizes a hand-sewn map of the Chesapeake Watershed and a small theater set inside an oyster shell (‘The Pearl’) to share stories about the history and ecology of this bioregion and explore people’s relationships to the Chesapeake and the bodies of water near their place of birth.

The performances are intimate events for one or two people at a time. (Photos by Ana Tantaros of Side A Photography.)

 

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 Riparia reading ecological fortunes from her “Web of Life” deck at the 2017 Neighborhood Lights Festival in Baltimore, MD.

Riparia reading ecological fortunes from her “Web of Life” deck at the 2017 Neighborhood Lights Festival in Baltimore, MD.

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 Visitors locating themselves in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Visitors locating themselves in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

 Riparia tells tales of the Chesapeak Bay in her oyster shell theater.

Riparia tells tales of the Chesapeak Bay in her oyster shell theater.

 Riparia in a processional with members of the “Grotto of the Never Never Never-Ending Neverland,” a project by Laure Drogoul. This performance took place as part of Neighborhood Lights, supported by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, in Little Italy, April 2018. Other artists involved in this performance include Chuck Nesci, Edna Emmet, Matt Williams, Isa Leal, Joe Meduza, Katie Kehoe, Bridget Parlato, Katherine Fahey and Dan Van Allen.

Riparia in a processional with members of the “Grotto of the Never Never Never-Ending Neverland,” a project by Laure Drogoul. This performance took place as part of Neighborhood Lights, supported by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, in Little Italy, April 2018. Other artists involved in this performance include Chuck Nesci, Edna Emmet, Matt Williams, Isa Leal, Joe Meduza, Katie Kehoe, Bridget Parlato, Katherine Fahey and Dan Van Allen.

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Riparia with a visitor to the Grotto, preparing to peer into the Web of Life ecological fortune cards.

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