Closeup Image of polished vintage wood flooring at CFPA - Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Artist Reflections: Nora Montañez

Nora Montañez Patterson is a Twin Cities theater artist, in residence at cfpa this spring as part of our Works in Process artist residency. Nora has used this residency to continue to work on her interactive, bilingual, multi-media storytelling experience, “Sabor a Mi,” which lays bare the human question, “Where do I belong?” Nora’s mentor for this project has been Jessica Lopez Lyman.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely those of the artist. More about Nora here.


Has this residency at cfpa inspired or evoked a different approach to making work?  

Nora in Peru with her cajón teacher, Alfredo Valiente.

Before starting this residency, I visited my country of Lima, Peru with a MRAC Next Step Grant. Through this grant I was able to immerse myself in learning more about my history, as well as learn how to play the Cajon, which is an Afro-Peruvian percussion instrument. This piece has been in the works for two years, and every time I work on it, it takes on a different form.  With the guidance of my mentor (Jessica Lopez Lyman) I have been inspired to contemplate more specifically the question: “Who am I creating this play for?” That question has inspired me to continually check in with myself and it’s keeping me on track as I work.

“Sabor a Mí” as presented at Patricks’ Cabaret/Pangea World Theatre’s “Everything But English” May 2017.

After settling on a solid response to the question “Who am I creating this play for?”, I am trying to create different ways of communicating with my audience. I am deconstructing the way a play is formulated, and finding ways to take the audience through different journeys – while leading them towards wanting to hear more. Storytelling can take many shapes and forms: I am also working with my cajon to discover how sound and music can tell story.

Please join us for the public presentation of Spring 2019 Works in Process
featuring the work of:
Nora Montañez, Beth Ann Powers, and Alexandra Bodnarchuk

Saturdays, April 19th and 27th
7-9 pm
All public events at cfpa are PayWhatYouCan donation.
Advance reservations are encouraged.

cfpa’s ReClaim series is an assembly space to connect all kinds of audiences, artists, experiences, and stories. Our events explore the vitality and evolution of American identity, and the ways in which creative works reflect our lived experience (or not). Our events grapple with the stories we hear and see, the stories we make and tell, and the ways in which we are (or are not) changed by creative representations of our experiences. We support artists who engage fiercely with the complex and contradictory nature of the human experience. We support audiences who yearn for greater personal engagement between works of art and the daily life of our community. We assemble for lively questions, dynamic conversation, and to encourage new ways of understanding each other’s lives.