Summer of Salsa y Más


Pictured: Summer of Salsa y Más by Ruby Rivera, 2023 Photo by J Andrade

Watch the artist interview or see some photos from the Sip and Salsa event.


Summer of Salsa y Más by the Texas Salsa Congress will combine dance, music, and performances that will pay tribute to Houston’s Salsa dance and music community. During the residency, the TSC will create programs such as Salsa at Sunset, an outdoor live music concert, Sip & Salsa, and Six Degrees of Salsa Separation. In addition, the TSC will be offering salsa lessons, performances and more throughout its June events.

The focus and goal will be to collaborate with multiple artists, vendors, and organizations to bring some spice and heat to the Summer of Houston.  Featured artists include Calle Swing, Amy Malkan, Lupe Mendez, DJ DLUX, and several of the dancers and performance groups from Houston, Texas.

Texas Salsa Congress has spent more than a decade helping create partnerships and establishing events in Houston and its surrounding communities that are open to the public and designed specifically to highlight both local and world-renowned dancers, performers, musicians, and DJs. The Texas Salsa Congress curates a variety of music and dance events throughout Houston for all ages.


Ruby Rivera was born of Puerto Rican and Guatemalan descent and raised in Houston’s Northside. Ruby Rivera was the first in her family to graduate from a four-year university, The University of Texas at Austin. Ruby has always had a personal commitment to increasing student enrollment at colleges and universities across the United States. Currently, Ruby Rivera has a career in college access and creates initiatives for students and families across Houston. These initiatives include special programming for first-generation students, immigrants, and students interested in a career in the arts.

Her passion for creating art access for the community via the arts fueled her to founding the Texas Salsa Congress. As part of the Texas Salsa Congress Ruby has curated events across Houston to bring Salsa and the Arts to students and families and creates revenue for artists from Houston, Texas, and around the globe.

Ruby was bestowed with a city proclamation declaring August 4th “Salsa Appreciation Day”. The TSC also received a city Proclamation declaring March 14th “Texas Salsa Congress Day” for Houston, Texas. In 2022 Stages & Sin Muros awarded Ruby the Puente Prize for her contribution to the LatinX Arts community. Also in 2022, Ruby Rivera completed a year-long National fellowship “Latinos for Education”

Featured artists include La Tribu, Cali Dance Houston, Lupe Mendez, Leandro Salazar, Cesar Espinosa, Ramos Renditions, Calle Swing, Amy Malkan, and Salvador Perez.

Dancing Home: (to) Houston


Dancing Home: (to) Houston is a part of a larger project entitled Dancing Home. Conceptualized by Dr. Lindsay Gary, Artistic and Executive Director of Dance Afrikana, this iteration of the project explores (d)ancestry from the African continent via the larger African Diaspora and ultimately to Houston, and the exchange between these three dynamic cultural ecosystems, with a goal of further developing the infrastructure of Black dance in the city. It includes the Black Dance in Houston Exhibit, an abbreviated exhibition of Gary’s larger project Black Dance in Texas under her role as Scholar-in-Residence with Rice CERCL and the African American History Research Center, Gregory Campus. It will also feature Gary’s Remembering Bamboula | Embodying Home exhibit and solo work along with performances from Dance Afrikana’s company and members of the Houston Black Dance Collective. Additional programming includes Kuumba in July, a dance workshop series celebrating African and Diasporic dance; Dance Afrikana, Dance Podcast Live; Dance Afrikana Youth Academy Intensive; and a curated experience with Houston Black Dance Collective.


Pictured: Dancing Home: (to) Houston by Dr. Lindsay Gary, 2023 Photo by Viva La Marx

Watch the project recap or see some photos from the Opening Reception


Dr. Lindsay Gary (PhD, MFA, MA, MPA) is a professor-scholar, conceptual diasporArtist, and Afrocentric entrepreneur whose mission is to educate, connect, and empower the African Diaspora. She graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in History and minors in Dance and Business Administration, and later obtained her Graduate Certificate in African American Studies. She also has an MA in History, an MPA in Public Policy, and an MFA in Dance, and recently obtained her PhD in Africology and African American Studies from Temple University. Gary is an adjunct professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston and of History at Houston Community College, in addition to being the Executive Director of The Re-Education Project (501c3), the Artistic and Executive Director of Dance Afrikana LLC, Co-Director of Ade Ile Properties (Nigeria), and the CEO of Isegun Enterprises LLC. She is the author of The New Red Book: A Guide to 50 of Houston’s Black Historical and Cultural Sites, and the director and creator of “Who Yo’ People?”, a documentary film that explores the African heritage of Louisiana.


Since its inception in 2016, Dance Afrikana’s mission has been to create a world where people of the African Diaspora are empowered and connected through the African dance tradition, and where dancers have the safe space and platform to grow artistically and culturally. Dance Afrikana offers unique programming as the only dance company in the city teaching and offering certain dances of the Diaspora. As such, it is a valuable commodity to the community of Houston and beyond.

Dance Afrikana presents two annual productions that highlight Afro/Black dance to educate the public on important aspects of diasporic culture through dance, including Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro Dance and the Juneteenth Celebration. Both of these productions explore important elements within the African diaspora (culturally and historically), as well as engage world class performers and artists to display the artistry of the diaspora.

As a partner of Houston Metropolitan Dance, Dance Afrikana offers weekly dance classes for adults and teens. Additionally, Dance Afrikana is home to the Houston Black Dance Collective (HBDC). The mission of HBDC is to support Houston-based dance organizations and individual dancers and choreographers that are a part of the African Diaspora, and to foster a space of collaboration amongst Houston’s black dance community.

Dance Afrikana is fiscally sponsored by Fresh Arts and has received numerous awards from the Houston Arts Alliance and Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs including the City’s Initiative Grant (2019), two Cares Act Grants (2020), and the Support for Organizations Grant (2021).

Featured artists include Loren Holmes, Danielle Mason, Brittany Bass, Batala, Diamond Simone, Tracie Jackson, Keisha Davis, LaKendra Howard, Luana Da Silva, Kemi OG, Nessaja Sharber, Breyonna Milton, Tempest McLendon, and DJ Rodeo.



Pictured: TELEPHONE 2.0 by Artist Keeley Dunnam, 2023 Photo by J Andrade

Watch the artist interview or see some photos from the Kids Workshop


The overall project concept of Telephone 2.0 is to create a unified, collaborative project with multiple artists of different mediums, that uses dance/movement as a catalyst to create other forms of art. 

The entire exhibit will have three sections that act as a daisy chain of inspiration: (1) dance, (2) other art forms, (3) final section ending with dance. Telephone will start with a choreographed dance that the other artists will watch and respond to in their own preferred medium. Their response will showcase their individual perspectives, and how they actively translate what they see, understand, feel, and ideas received from the movement they watch. Then I, as the choreographer, will look at all the artworks they created and actively translate them into movement from my personal perspective. 

The primary purpose of the project is to bring multiple perspectives and multiple representations of a single idea into the same space, this concept provides various in-ways for the audience to connect to the concept being “discussed”. The second purpose is to intertwine dance with forms of art that aren’t usually seen in the same space and to bridge the gap between performance art and visual art.


Keeley Dunnam received her M.F.A at Sam Houston State University in 2022, and her B.F.A. in Dance from the University of North Texas in 2018. Keeley has performed with companies Company XV, Pilot Dance Project, PDC Works, AmpDance, and Impulse Dance Project. Her work, “NArrow is the Way” was showcased in imPULSE Dance Project’s annual summer show in 2018, “Same but Different but Same” was showcased in Mind the Gap in 2022, and “Interrealational Transactions” premiered in Mind the Gap 2023. Keeley was named Artist in Residence by Dance Source Houston for the 2022-23 year and produced and eighteen-minute-long group piece called “Into the Shimmer” for the Barnstorm Dance Festival in 2023. Keeley continues to focus her choreographic works towards building community by using movement as a means of communication, and to create meaningful interactions between art and the public.

Featured artists include Susanne Slade Kelly, Julie McLemore, Delanie Molnar, Amanda Fraizer, Rebekah Alderfer, Sierra Johnson, Hannah Dunning, Madeline Aladana-GrayStephanie Valle Crus, and Mia Pham

20XX STAR Application Selection Panel: NAME, NAME, and NAME.

The Space Taking Artist Residency is funded in part by a grant from Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, and Brown Foundation.