Visiting artist guides students to art careers

Multimedia and performance artist stefa marin alarcon collaborated with students over two weeks, including to explore how to make a career as an artist. 

headshot of stefa marin alarcon For the last two weeks of February, New York-based artist stefa marin alarcon was in residence at Beloit College for a series of events with students, staff, and faculty. In addition to visiting classes and performing their newest work, they also engaged with students to create art—and to explore how to get financial support to do so. 

Over lunch, stefa shared their experience and advice navigating artist residencies, grants, and other opportunities to fund artistic practice. Prior to joining Beloit, stefa has been an Artist-in-Residence at TrueQué Residencia Artística and participated in a Slippage Residency at Duke University in collaboration with MX Oops. They have also been a Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics EmergeNYC Fellow (2019), Leslie Lohman Museum of Art Artist Fellow (2019-2020), and Artist In Residence at The Kitchen (May 2021), a legendary New York center for supporting innovative work by emerging and established artists across disciplines.

stefa’s residency at Beloit culminated in an intensive 48-hour artistic collaboration with thirteen Beloit College students. On Saturday, March 2, the students were given a prompt to create “Rituals for Future Selves” and encouraged to bring their varied and creative expertise into harmony, for instance as musicians, visual artists, creative writers, and videographers. Using new state-of-the-art projectors installed in Beloit’s Hendricks Center for the Arts, they worked in small groups to develop multimedia performance pieces using immersive light and sound. The aim of these “rituals” was to consider how students make space to deal with stress, reflect on their identities, and dream for more equitable worlds.

The time restraint of 48 hours developed students’ skills not only in collaboration, but in working under pressure to be artistically and professionally agile. After 48 hours, the students premiered their rituals for a live audience on Monday, March 4.

stefa marin alarcon is a genderless, genreless vocalist, composer, educator and multi-media performance artist born to Colombian immigrants. Using an amalgamation of punk, experimental pop and classical minimalism with queer maximalist aesthetics and video collages, stefa builds worlds that offer a somatic decolonial respite for the misfits, the displaced, and future generations of Brown and Indigenous radical artists of the diaspora. Their artistic practice explores concepts of home, identity, gender, borders, erased ancestry, and radical trans, queer, and Native futures through music, theater, ritual performance and video.

In collaborating with stefa, students thus also thought about the relation between art and justice. In the lunch on professional advice, students then had an opportunity to get concrete advice on how to translate these values and passions into sustainable careers, gaining support from nonprofits, federal agencies, and other institutions that support the arts. 

March 05, 2024


Michael Dango (

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