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Meet Grace Rivera, musical enthuiast and acting powerhouse. I was simply blown away hearing Grace’s music; read her story below to be awed by her talent too!
Music has and forever will be my favorite form of storytelling. We are constantly surrounded by it. The day I discovered theatre, my perspective on sharing stories changed. Not only can you use music and dance, but you can also use acting to tell your story. The first musical I ever saw was The Lion King. To me, it wasn’t just the famous animated Disney movie we all know and love, but it was about discovering your true potential and immersing yourself in different cultures. That’s what I most loved about it, the culture. It was the most intimate form of storytelling I had ever experienced because it all happened right in front of you. I had a newfound appreciation for not only theatre but live-action performances. I now love concerts because they permit thousands of people, from different backgrounds to come together and enjoy something they all have in common.
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When I found out about the musical In The Heights I was thrilled because I finally felt as if my racial identity was being reflected through the play. I could see myself and my family in the characters. When I think about In The Heights, I see hard working people trying to build a better life for themselves and their families. Everything about it was truthful to my world. Books like The House On Mango Street connected me to those before me. I found my self relating to the book’s main character “Esperanza”, further proving the power of storytelling and the acceptance that it makes you feel.
Artists like India Arie, Lauryn Hill, John Mayer, Tori Kelly, PJ Morton, Frank Ocean, Ella Fitzgerald, Maya Angelou, C.S. Lewis, Bob Dylan, Oscar Wilde, Sandra Cisneros, and many others have allowed me to build a greater appreciation of different art forms such as music, and writing. They motivate me to speak my truth in hopes of inspiring others. One of my favorite quotes is from Stella Adler. “Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”
“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”Stella Adler
My message to those girls out there who create art is to never stop. Make your voice heard. It’s not as complicated as we sometimes make it out to be. Use your art to bring light and life to your communities. Don’t use it to bring self-gratification, but instead use it to help others. Your art is a gift, recognize that and create. Especially young artists, we are the future. Educate one another, be kind to one another and listen to one another. We are all fighting for a better tomorrow, don’t let your stubbornness get in the way of that.
Art takes on so many different forms. It is used to protest, to express, and to liberate. It can encompass a culture, your culture. It can be through writing, music, painting, poetry, or photography. Tell your story. Speak your truth.