The Lawrence Arts Collective was established in 2021 as a partnership of nonprofits and small businesses that facilitate and support arts and culture in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The 2022-2023 partners include Essex Art Center, Izizwe Dance Studio, and Ateneo Dominicano de Nueva Inglaterra.
Through an artist-in-residence program, the Collective aims to strengthen community relationships, drive economic growth, and nurture contemporary art in Lawrence. The six-month residency allows artists the time and resources necessary to engage with the community and create meaningful work that invites participation and stimulates dialogue.
Meet the 2023 Artists in Residence!
Liza Zayas, also known as Luna del Flor, works with the power of poetry as a mirror and healer. She intersects her lifelong passion for justice, equality, and the healing of humanity with her artistic goal of dialogue through individual and shared experiences in rhyme. Raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Liza’s Puerto Rican roots have pulsated her rhythmic poetry into performance art. As Luna del Flor, she performs at poetry events including VDay One Billion Rising, International Women's Day, Women’s History Month and others. When not on stage, she curates events with other talents for these movements and more as a stage manager, talent coordinator, hostess or DJ.
Learn more about Liza's work here.
My art means everything to me. I’m telling stories of experiences that I've been through and topics and ideas that I believe are important. Everything I do means something—there's an intention with every move, every word, every shot, every little thing.
My purpose is to make people feel—to make people really feel something. When it’s through my movement, my words, my art, my eyes, my energy, my aura—I want people to feel something. Something positive. Something inspiring. Something that gets them up in the morning. Something that helps them sleep at night. Something that keeps them going. My purpose is to spread my magic and help people see and feel the magic within themselves. we’re all magical. My purpose is to make a difference—with my art, my energy, my soul.
Learn more about Gina's work here
I began my journey as an artist, activist, and educator in Lawrence, my hometown, where I harnessed my voice as a spoken word poet performing for a wide variety of audiences. After graduating from Smith College in 2017, I started teaching high school English and committed myself to creating equitable and safe spaces for underrepresented students in predominantly white institutions. My passion for fat liberation, youth education, and spoken word poetry helped me start body-positive youth programming , hoping to educate and aid adolescents in their own body journeys. Outside of teaching, I am a scholar and hope to pursue my Ph.D. in English to study the relationship between fat bodies, labor, and social movements. As a queer Mestiza Latina I see my identity as a resource and catalyst for expanding, deepening, and challenging the traditional canon of English literature. My work has been featured in a wide variety of publications including, Caustic Frolic Literary Journal, Exposed Brick Literary Magazine, Glass Poetry Journal, Voices and Visions, and Women: A Cultural Review to name a few. My debut collection of poetry, "This is How I Learn to Love" was a finalist for The Sexton Prize for best outstanding poetry.
You can learn more about Dariana's work here.