MacArthur Fellows Program

Luis Alfaro

Writer and Performance Artist | Class of 1997

Writer and Performance Artist
Los Angeles, California
36 at time of award
Published July 1, 1997

About Luis' Work

Luis Alfaro is a performance artist, playwright, and poet whose work dramatizes issues of identity and social power.

The ways in which cultural and social practices shape personal and group identities are central to Alfaro’s work.  Performance pieces, such as Downtown, resonate beyond the Los Angeles or Latino experience to more broadly challenge contemporary views on race relations, sexual orientation, gender, and wealth.  Alfaro’s influence as a curator of interdisciplinary artistic productions also defines his creative contributions.  He organizes group performances that offer marginalized artists and performers an opportunity to respond to cultural problems and collaborate as colleagues in producing their own work.

In addition to his work as curator, Alfaro teaches in colleges and youth outreach programs, directly mentoring the next generation of performers.  His work has been published in a number of anthologies, including The United States of Poetry (1995).  Alfaro is also the co-founder of the Salon Des Queers and an original member of the Dark Horses performance art collective.  He is the author/performer of 12 performance art pieces.


Alfaro is the co-director and associate producer of new play development for the Latino Theatre Initiative at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and an associate artist of the Cornerstone Theater Company.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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