Sol & Soul is not your typical organization and we don’t have a traditional “staff.” Instead, Sol & Soul’s leadership structure consists of Sol & Soul’s three co-founders – Hilary, Quique, and Yael. Along with Ruth Young, a founding member of Spoken Resistance, they form the organization’s “creative core,” running Sol & Soul’s day-to-day operations, planning and implementing programs, making connections with othre artists of conscience and doing whatever we can to support their work. All four also play other leadership roles within Sol & Soul, as the Artistic Director, on the Board, and as participants in both Spoken Resistance and El Barrio Street Theater.
Quique is a poet and performer whose work addresses social issues through performance and poetry. A native of El Salvador, Quique has been performing in the US for over 20 years. In 1985, after graduating from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, he founded and directed the LatiNegro Theater Collective, an ensemble of African American and Latino young artists that brought its work to theaters, schools, prisons, universities and community organizations. Since 1992, Quique has been performing solo; his work is known for its portrayal of people from all walks of life: blacks, whites, latinos, old, young, men and women. He has performed throughout the DC area and in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Fe and schools/universities in over 10 states. Quique’s poetry has also been featured NPR’s Latino USA, on subway platforms through Washington’s “Metro Muse.” Click here for more about Quique’s Work or his book of poetry entitled, The Immigrant Museum.
Hilary Binder- Avilés
Originally from New England, Hilary says she moved to Washington and ended up in DC. Luckily for Sol & Soul, she likes keeping track of things, organizing stuff, and writing propoosals (really!). She likes working with community-based organizations to help them get better at what they do, doing any kind of training with groups (especially young people) that want to do something about injustice and make their voices heard, and just hanging out with the kids in her neighborhood.
Looking back, most important decisions in Yael Flusberg’s life have been profoundly influenced by early experiences growing up in a working-class, multi-ethnic neighborhood in New York City to immigrant parents who survived attempted genocide in their birth countries, and who both died when Yael was in her early teens. These experiences provided a basic framework for her to envision the world as a place where each of us plays a role in creating a living legacy that weaves together creative expression, activism, spirituality, intimacy, passion, and ongoing work in resistance/liberation. She co-founded Sol & Soul with Hilary and Quique to learn how to explore these things within herself and how to help others grow into powerfully creative and political gifts to everyone they encounter along the way. At Sol & Soul, Yael’s responsibilities have ranged from strategizing to schmoozing to improvising to organizing. Her writing has appeared in DC Poets Against the War, Lilith, Travelers’ Tales, Wind and Gargoyle.
Ruth Young is an emerging poet and performance artist from Washington, DC. Her poems and monologues are based on her social observations and experiences and have covered a range of topics including the conflicts of love, the rules of race and class, the experiences of women in prison, and the fanatic Christianity of her childhood. Young was the winner of the first annual DC Poet Laureate’s Poetry Festival in 2000 for her jazz poem “Dressed in Beaujolais and Broken Words.” She is a founding member of the performing ensemble Spoken Resistance that won the Mayor’s Art Award for Outstanding Emerging Artist, 2002. She has performed all across DC at venues including the Smithsonian Institution, DC Arts Center, GALA Hispanic Theatre, The Potters House, and has been a featured reader with Ladyfest DC, Washington Storytellers Theatre, and at Starbucks Third Thursday poetry nights.