Art and creativity are essential to build a just world.

Artivista Productions offers interactive art and storytelling tools to
to help individuals, groups, and institutions build community, address issues of injustice, and engage in social change.

Photo: Marisol Diaz. Bronx Artists Showcase 2017. Conversation on art, cultural equity, building community and making change. Produced by Pepatian.

Photo: Marisol Diaz. Bronx Artists Showcase 2017. Conversation on art, cultural equity, building community and making change. Produced by Pepatian.


We create original stories.
We design storytelling projects.
We facilitate workshops and trainings.
We make socially engaged art.


WRITING

Storytelling for a new world.

EDUCATION

Storytelling and theater workshops, institutes, and laboratories grow leaders and develop capacity.

GRASSROOTS

Develop creative approaches to complex issues.

WRITING

TELEVISION - THEATER - PUBLISHING

Unique, culturally relevant stories and creative content. From television shows to graphic novels to theater.

WE ARE NEW YORK
An Emmy Award-winning television show created to help immigrant New Yorkers practice English.

We Are New York is a 9-episode broadcast TV drama used as an English language and civic engagement tool for immigrant New Yorkers. It was a project of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Adult Education and the City University of New York.

Kayhan wrote the scripts and created a linked, community-based conversation initiative that brought thousands of immigrants, throughout the five boroughs, together to practice English in volunteer-led conversation groups.

She and her team also created educational comic books based on the series which were translated into 5 languages and distributed in NYC public hospitals, courts, CBOs and local meeting places.


WE'VE COME UNDONE

Performed from 2003-2007 to explore the impact of post-9/11 legislation and scapegoating on Arab, South Asian, and Muslim Americans. This performance details the effects of being othered, targeted, and shunned while offering a view of how the fabric of our democracy frays when we rip apart families and communities. A series of moving monologues from a young girls' bewilderment at her father's disappearance, to an INS agent's rant and a Sikh woman's humorous conversation with an arsonist, the characters' truths aim to enlighten, activate and inspire.

A 2017 revival is underway that incorporates interactive technology and themes of surveillance into an immersive experience.
CONTACT ME if you would like to support this production in any way.
Below is an experiment using a 360 degree, VR camera. Created by Ana Paula Loureiro Kler


Art by: Alejandra Delfin

Art by: Alejandra Delfin

JACKIE AND THE BEANSTALK

Jackie is after more than beans as she battles asthma and a giant polluter while trying to hold on to her dreams in this delightfully funny, environmentally-conscious theatrical event. Jackie and the Beanstalk reflects the lived experience of many families in the South Bronx, and combines serious social issues with theater and circus arts to engage young people in decisions about their neighborhood.

Performances engaged over 1,000 Bronx residents. Customized lesson plans were used by hundreds of local teachers. Organized annual post-performance community health fair with local information, resources, on-site services, and food. Open to all residents.

More images here.


Telling Stories to Change the World collects moving and powerful essays from across the globe that speak to the power of storytelling and the resilience of the human spirit. It proves that telling stories, and listening to one another carefully, does have the power to change the world. It’s a terrific collection!
— Dave Isay. Founder of StoryCorps and MacArthur Fellow
Reading this book, we add ourselves to the host of witness-bearers as the vivid, compelling, and unimpeachable testimony of lived and reimagined experience open new vistas for direct action and creative collective response. This collection inspires, instructs, and sets some terrific examples. This is a rare and beautifully curated resource of hard-won joy and deeply flowing currents of renewal.
— Peter Sellars Professor of World Arts and Culture UCLA and Cultural Activist

COMMUNITY-BASED PROJECTS

PROGRAMS, Workshops, & Trainings

Program design; Workshop Design; Public Event Production; Audience Dialogue & Facilitation; Customized Trainings; Educational or Engagement Content Consultation.

 

 
Educator's Institute participants standing with a ranger in front of Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.  NPS Photo.

Educator's Institute participants standing with a ranger in front of Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. 
NPS Photo.

MUSLIM WOMEN'S STORY LAB

The Muslim Women's Story Lab was a partnership with Women in Islam, Inc which built women's capacity to lead creative, culturally resonant community engagement projects using strategies that harness and reclaim Islam's empowerment of women. Over the course of 5 months, twelve participants came together in bi-weekly workshops to nurture seeds of projects and generate networks for change.

 
 
 

CIVIL RIGHTS EDUCATOR INSTITUTE
CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE - LITTLE ROCK, AR

Facilitated by Gail A. Burton and Kayhan Irani

The Little Rock Civil Rights Educator Institute is a design laboratory for social engagement that provides a space for pedagogical experimentation, and inquiry into issues related to human rights and education for liberation. This institute brings together educators, community workers, and cultural activists from around the country to exchange knowledge and experiences, and to learn with and from each other in an intensive week-long learning community.  Click here for application.

Banner Image: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo


THEATER IN AFGHANISTAN: FOSTERING LOCAL DIALOGUE THROUGH THE ARTS

From 2010 – 2012 Kayhan trained over 12 theater troupes working in various provinces of Afghanistan – from Kandahar to Kunduz.  Theater troupes engaged in a 10-day intensive training and development of Forum Theater process culminating in the creation of original Forum Theater plays performed in their home towns for local audiences.

She also worked to create a radio drama with a focus on youth and justice.  Supported by the U.S. Institute of Peace and their Afghan media partner, Equal Access, Kayhan helped to create a storytelling for social justice framework for the scripts and a structure for post-show audience dialogues between callers at home and issue experts in the studio.

http://www.usip.org/publications/usip-supported-radio-drama-aims-strengthen-justice-young-people-in-afghanistan


Design: Luba Lukova

Design: Luba Lukova


THEATER OF THE OPPRESSED AND POPULAR EDUCATION WORKSHOPS

We facilitate Theater of the Oppressed workshops and training for community organizations, social and activist organizations, schools, universities, places of worship, international development and aid organizations, and cultural institutions to grow leaders and heal from hurts. 

Since 2003 we have partnered with The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB), the oldest Theater of the Oppressed training and education group in North America. We offer storytelling laboratories, daylong or half-day workshops, as well as intensive training.

Contact us to learn more.