Karla Estela Rivera

As a skilled filmmaker, writer, performer and activist, Karla has always used her storytelling as a bridge between communities. As early as 1996, Karla was featured in The Nation magazine as “the paper’s most prolific North Side writers” for her work with New Expression newspaper, and wrote her first play, which was a finalist at Pegasus Theater’s Young Playwright’s Festival. As a teaching artist, she has taught various forms to storytelling to over 4,000 youth in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York City and Chicago, focusing on high-need and urban communities. In addition to collaborating with local theater companies, she is a member of Free Street Theater’s Resident Artist Collective. When not on stage telling stories, she works with nonprofit organizations across the country to help refine theirs. She is also a Reiki Master Teacher, holding free alternative healing clinics throughout the year. She is a native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Film & Video with graduate studies at New York University. She lives on the north side of Chicago with her husband and daughter.


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