Ruby Rivera

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”



Dr. Lindsay Gary

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.



Keeley Dunnam

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.



Participating artists were selected from a competitive application process. The  residencies will be taking place at MECA (Multicultural Education & Counseling through the Arts) – a community-based nonprofit, located in the Arts District, dedicated to “the healthy development of under-served & under represented families through arts and cultural programming, the promotion of academic excellence, support services, and community building.” The selected artists will be hosting activations that include exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops, concerts, and more!

The Space Taking Artist Residency, powered by Fresh Arts, 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.