"I believe that during this time of mass uncertainty through the performing arts we can continue to inspire people into action, spark a change in our world, and lift each other up. We are practicing social distance, but we can remain connected and united through our work with and practice of the performing arts."
Johanna Kepler founded the interview series project Power of the Performing Arts: Uniting Artists While Apart on March 9th 2020. Her goal is to make a platform in which artists can continue to share their stories, create community through technology, and raise awareness on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting performing artists in the US and around the world. Currently over 200 artists are involved in this interview series. Johanna has interviewed performing artists, directors, choreographers and producers from on and off Broadway, regional theaters across the country, as well as major dance companies such as Martha Graham Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, New York City Ballet, Gibney Dance, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, independent artists and more.
All of the interviews will also be translated into Spanish to reach a wider audience and include a larger demographic whose primary language may not be English. As a Latina and immigrant herself Johanna’s main focus in community engagement is the idea of access. Who do you reach? Who do you let reach you?
The Power of the Performing Arts: Uniting Artists While Apart (TPOTPA) is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of the performing arts. TPOTPA honors this mission by aiming to connect and unify the performing arts world in a tangible way through the use of technology during a time of social distance, translating interviews into Spanish to include communities of Spanish speaking people that are often left out of the education and access to the performing arts, building a more diverse and supportive audience outside of the performing arts community through raising awareness and the sharing of stories, and raising awareness of the importance of the performing arts in an effort to establish our worth as performing artists in a more concrete way.
Johanna Kepler was born in Guatemala City. She was adopted by two white lesbian mothers and raised in a half Jewish household. As an immigrant and Latina woman her main focus in all of the work is combining her passion for the performing arts with her social justice advocacy work, specifically immigration reform. She constantly works to diversify and reimagine the spaces she is in to become more inclusive and equitable. Johanna believes in the power of the performing arts to unite people from all backgrounds, statuses, and walks of life to create change and spread the privilege of joy.