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Karen Zacarías’ play Native Gardens brings big, complicated questions about belonging, biology, and borders to the familiar, homey setting of the back yard – and then makes it the comic battle ground on which her big, complicated characters struggle to resolve them. Join us for Context & Conversation to consider how we struggle with those questions in our own lives, and in our own community. Snacks and a farm walk included – what better way to spend Earth Day?
Rachel Playe, Herbalist
Rachel Playe is a farmer and herbalist. She has been farming for over ten years and studying herbalism for over five years, most recently with Mary Blue of Farmacy Herbs in Providence, RI. Rachel has worked on many types of farms, from rural to urban, in different regions across North America. She is the owner and operator of Radia Herbs, a medicinal herb farm based in Cranston. Rachel makes a variety of herbal products using plants from her farm, and has been selling them for over four years at farmers markets and shops around New England.
Marta Martinez, Executive Director of RI Latino Arts
Marta Martinez is the founder and executive director of Rhode Island Latino Arts, the oldest Latino non-profit arts organization advocating for Latin American arts, cultural heritage and history in Rhode Island. She is also an oral historian and the founder of the Nuestras Raíces: The Latino Oral History Project of RI. She is on the faculty of Providence College in the Department of Global Studies, and is the recipient of the 2016 Public Humanities Award from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; the 2016-2017 Fellow in Public Humanities at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, where she is working on a project in collaboration with the Providence Preservation Society (PPS) and Roger Williams University entitled Exploring Places of Significance to Rhode Island’s Latino Communities. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Latinos in Heritage Conservation (LHC). Marta is an educator and a community advocate and in January 2015, was appointed by Governor Gina Raimondo to the Rhode Island State Board of Education, where she serves on the Council on Elementary & Secondary Education (K-12). Marta is of Mexican heritage and was raised in El Paso, Texas. She is fluent in Spanish and Sign Language.
Karen Joy Asher, RI Wild Plant Society
Karen Asher is a past President of the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society. She leads walks for the Society and has served as the chairwoman of their Seed Starters program, which grows the plants for their annual plant sale. She has a certificate in Field Botany from the New England Wildflower Society and she volunteers in their Plant Conservation Program by helping to assess the status of rare species in RI. She is also a Master Gardener and volunteers with the Rhody Native program growing native plants at URI. She has presented programs on Gardening with R I Native Plants at Garden Clubs, Land Trusts and Libraries across the state. She enjoys working in her own garden in West Kingston.
Christina Bevilacqua, Trinity Rep Conversationalist-in-Residence and Moderator
A cultural curator who uses the arts and humanities to cultivate conversation among diverse publics, Christina Bevilacqua currently serves as the Director of Programs and Exhibitions at the Providence Public Library and as the Conversationalist-in-Residence at Trinity Repertory Company. From 2005 to 2016 she curated public programming at the Providence Athenaeum, where in 2006 she founded the Providence Athenaeum Salon, a weekly event bringing Athenaeum members and the general public together for conversations on such topics as history, visual art, theater, politics, fashion, collecting, literature, food, music, architecture, science, education, historic preservation, and urban policy. In 2013 the RI Council for the Humanities awarded her the Tom Roberts Prize for Creative Achievement in the Humanities in recognition of the impact that the Salon has had on cultural life in the state. She has been a Community Fellow at Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage since 2014. Prior to working at the Athenaeum she directed educational programming at Leadership Rhode Island, a community leadership organization, for three years. She earned a BA in Writing and Literature from Bard College and an MA in Social Policy from the University of Chicago.
co-presented by the Providence Public Library.