Linda Rodríguez as an Associate Artist working under Master Artist Matt Madden on a Comic Book Storytelling project titled Build Your Own Labyrinth: Using Constraints to Challenge and Surprise Yourself in her 6th ACA Residency in the summer of 2018.

Dr. Linda Rodríguez was accepted for the 7th time as an Associate Artist in the Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency Program this next Summer in New Smyrna Beach, Florida where she’ll be working with interdisciplinary artist Janie Geiser on a film project entitled “Fortress/Belvedere.”

Founded in 1977, the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) provides an artist-in-residence program where internationally-acclaimed Master Artists select talented pupils from around the world to collaborate on projects with and to help them grow within their artistic fields. These residency participants are given the title of Associate Artists and are presented with master classes, constructive criticism and collaboration opportunities in a supportive and creative environment. From music and painting, to writing and film making, ACA provides artists from over 145 different disciplines with a place for ideas to be created, shared, and come into fruition. Our very own Linda Rodríguez will participate for the 7th time this upcoming May!

“This summer I will be working with Janie Geiser who is an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, film, installation and puppetry” shared Rodríguez on a written interview. “Her films have been shown in many festivals and museums such as MOMA in NYC!”  Dr. Rodríguez will be using the skills she developed during her recent professional degree in Screenplay Writing from UCLA in Geiser’s new film titled “Fortress/Belvedere.” In this project, the Master Artist is focusing her film on an investigation in ideas of physical and imagined defenses, such as fortresses, walled cities, software, and others. This sparked Rodríguez’s interest because of her memories grown up visiting “impenetrable” and “protected” fortresses, such as the 16th century San Felipe del Morro Castle in San Juan.

Linda Rodríguez’s first ACA residency opportunity arrived in 2002 as a result of the success of her first poetry publication Metropolitan Fantasies -textos errantes-. She worked with African-American writer and Master Artist Ishmael Reed, who helped her find her poetic voice. During this residency, Reed was editing a volume of poetry released with the title Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002, where the Puerto Rican writer published her poem Hurakán: A Two Way. After this life-changing experience, Dr. Rodríguez has managed to return to ACA six more times in the past 17 years working with art forms such as poetry, play writing and performance. As recently as last year, she participated in her 6th ACA residency, but this time working with Master Artist Matt Madden on Comic Book Storytelling with a project titled “Build your Own Labyrinth: Using Constraints to Challenge and Surprise Yourself”. Rodriguez shares that ACA helped her develope herself as a multidisciplinary artist and that her experiences were “… a very personal and inward looking way to experiment and develop my voice as a writer…”

When asked to give any guidance to artists that might be interested in developing their art and applying to an ACA residency, her advice was straight forward: “If you want to grow as writer and artist, keep working on your art,” encourages Rodríguez, “There might not be any ‘Magical Fairy Godmother’s’ out there, but good people and institutions like ACA will help you on your journey.” She also encourages those individuals to learn about ACA’s application process and their Master Artists. “You need to think about who would be a good mentor for you and then work on your application carefully making sure you present yourself as an artist that has valuable skills [that] will add to the experience of the residency for all the other Associate Artists.” As final words of advice, Rodriguez says that it’s important to be pro-active and build up a resume. “As an artist you have to draw your own map and trace your own path… which I hope takes you to ACA.”

Linda María Rodríguez Guglielmoni studied literature and arts at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and completed an M.A. and a PhD from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She currently works as a professor at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez teaching Caribbean Literature, Film, and Creative Writing.