Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra (enrolled Maya-Lenca, El Salvador, b. Tomah, WI) is an Indigenous-Salvadoran-Norwegian-American interdisciplinary contemporary artist, musician, and culture bearer whose work is rooted in Indigenous Futurisms and seeks to shift consciousness around immigration, borders, exodus and interconnectedness of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Her antidisciplinary social practice (music, visual art, theatre, dance) places emphasis on Latinx/Indigenous folk art methods, experimental performance storytelling, and Liberation Theology pulling across disciplines of archaeology, ethnoastronomy, and public art. She writes and performs bilingual music under the pseudonym Lady Xøk, recording with Electric Machete Studios, a Twin Cities Latinx Art and Music production house. The recurring themes in her bodies of work across disciplines are star knowledge, animal stories, migrations, petroglyphs, environmental survival, apocalypse, resistance, freedom of the soul, and women.
Current and recent projects include a music album made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) through a grant from The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota Center for Book Arts Jerome Mentorship to foster her ongoing public art project, The Mayan Calendar Project, and Red Eye Theatre’s New Works 4 Weeks Festival cohort for experimental performance artists, Mirrors & Windows fellowship for children's literature, and a 2019-2020 artist residency with Chicano & Latino Studies department at the University of Minnesota. In addition she continues to tell Maya-Lenca stories through experimental performance and puppetry, such as Star Girl Clan, with support from the Jim Henson Foundation, and continue artistic research projects for tribal cultural revitalization in the diaspora such as ceramics, petroglyphs, and star stories. A recent song in Lenca Putum about immigration, Central Americans, and the state of the border is being pressed into vinyl and released by KRSM radio in Phillips neighborhood. www.rebekahcrisanta.com @ladyxok @rebekahcrisanta @electricmachetestudios
Rebekah has exhibited, performed, and curated throughout Minnesota, collaborating with many arts organizations including the Minnesota Museum of American Art where she was the inaugural artist in residence, MN Orchestra, Cedar Cultural Center, Watermark Art Center and Miikanan Gallery, New Native Theatre, Our Space Is Spoken For —Twin Cities Media Alliance, Penumbra Theatre's My America Project, Pillsbury House, Uprising Arts, Forecast Public Art, The Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Paramount Center for the Arts, Public Functionary, All My Relations Arts, United Theological Seminary, Intermedia Arts, and many others. She has been the recipient of several fellowships and awards.
Rebekah has 15 years of experience as an arts educator teaching children and adults with ArtStart, Electric Machete Studios, pubic libraries, and schools. She is self-taught, family-taught, and studied studio art at St. Olaf College and Holtekilen Folkehøgskole in Oslo, Norway. She was a 2015-2016 apprentice to Armando Gutierrez G., former director of CreArte and recipient of the Folk and Traditional Arts Grant for Ce In Yollotl In Tlapizalli (MN Flute Project) for the cultural revitalization of pre-columbian ceramic flutes. She studied puppetry with Harmolodic Monkeybear, under mentor Gustavo Boada, and as a 2017-18 In the Heart of the Beast PuppetLab fellow. She studied lighting design with Tech Tools under Mike Wangen and participated in the public art Making it Public series with Forecast Public Art, and Native Artist Business Training with First People’s Fund.
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PBS-TPT MN Original feature artist spotlight