Join us for a conversation series featuring six Oaxacan women artists and community leaders — a chef, mezcalera, social designer, ceramicist, traditional weaver and a performance artist -  to explore the themes of land, female identity, and community impact through their innovative creative work.

In partnership with Pocoapoco and with the generous support of Interjet and Mexico Tourism Board.


Full Program

Night One - SOLD OUT!

BARRO, AIRE, FUEGO, AGUA: On the Elements of Making

June 26, 7 PM - LEE’S

175 Canal St

Opening evening and introductions, featuring all participants in conversation with Deborah Needleman, writer and former editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine.

A discussion on The Elements of Making, exploring the influence of land and place on each woman’s work.

Followed by bar and cocktails from Yana Volfson of Cosme and Atla.

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Night Two - SOLD OUT!

TEXTURES OF SOCIAL FABRIC : On Textiles, Community and Social Impact

June 27, 7 PM - LEE’S

175 Canal Street, NY

An evening with social designer Ana Paula Fuentes and weaver Pastora Gutiérrez Reyes, in conversation with Tanya Meléndez, Senior Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Followed by cocktails and food by Eleven36.

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Night Three- SOLD OUT!

WOMEN THAT CURE: On Women in the Kitchen and on the Palenque

June 28, 7 PM - DeMaria

19 Kenmare Street, NY

A conversation with chef Aurora Toledo and mezcalera Graciela Ángeles Carreño of Real Minero on the traditional and changing roles of women in food and mezcal in Oaxaca. Preceded by welcome cocktails, followed by four-course meal created in collaboration between Aurora Toledo and chef Adriana Urbina of DeMaria, paired with mezcal Real Minero.

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Night Four

LA LUZ ES PARA COMPARTIR: On Creation, Celebration and Connection

June 29, 7 PM - The Castle by Marlow Events

177 Dwight Street, BK

Closing party. A celebratory collaboration between the women artists, creatives and chefs from Oaxaca and New York, featuring dance by Evelyn Méndez and installation by Alicia Jiménez

With roaming dinner by Aurora Toledo and the women chefs of Marlow Events along with wine, beer and cocktails at a bar by bartender / writer Anna Dunn.

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About the Participants:

Pocoapoco is a multi-disciplinary, research-based residency program in Oaxaca, Mexico offering time for retreat, a platform for creative exploration and space for a collective intelligence. The residency hosts artists and non-artists in a wide variety of fields to support research, conversation and community surrounding creative work, process and purpose.

Graciela Ángeles Carreño is the mezcalera and general manager of Real Minero Mezcal, an internationally recognized brand from the small town of Santa Catarina Minas. As part of the fourth generation of mezcal producers, she is committed to her role as a modern women coexisting in an industry dominated by men, acting as an evangelist of mezcal and representing a new generation of mezcaleras.

Ana Paula Fuentes was the founding Director of Museo Textil of Oaxaca from 2006 - 2012. She is currently the Executive Director of CADA Foundation, working with artisans to achieve a local and global outreach without the loss of identity.

Pastora Gutiérrez Reyes is a Zapotec woman and one of the founding members of the Vida Nueva (new life) Women´s Weaving Cooperative. Together with her mother, grandmother, and other women of Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, they created the first women’s cooperative in their village in 1997, offering opportunities for financial independence and educational services to women in the community. 

Andrea Hagan is a traditional mezcal educator and translator based in Oaxaca, Mexico. Hailing from Chicago, her interest in traditional gastronomy stemmed from her field research in Oaxaca in 2009 while studying the effect of free trade agreements on the way people produce and consume heirloom corn varieties. In 2012 she returned to Oaxaca, learning more about culinary traditions, cross cultural relations, and traditional mezcal through her work with university groups, chefs, and mezcal producers. In late 2016 she founded and currently runs Mezcouting, which promotes rural mezcal and gastronomic tourism, bringing people straight to the source of traditional mezcal, stimulating local economic development.

Alicia Jiménez is an artist and ceramicist who has shown her work both nationally and internationally, including the notable Oaxacan institutions Museo de San Pablo, Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo, Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños, and the Museo de la Filatelia. She has been fascinated with the texture and feel of the earth since she was a child in the town of Tlacolula, where her grandmother (who was blind) taught her to feel before she taught her to write.

Evelyn Méndez is a dancer and choreographer. She has been performing since 2008, beginning in the Compañía Estatal de Danza Contemporánea de Oaxaca. In 2013 she left the company to create her own work and projects independently and in partnership with various artists.

Aurora Toledo is the chef and founder of the highly respected restaurant Zandunga in the center of Oaxaca. Growing up in the Isthmus region of Oaxaca, she is also a lifelong teacher and educator, as well as mother, grandmother and community leader. She is currently training as a traditional healer.