Mission and history

Mission:
Antiheroes Project works on the creation, production and presentation of contemporary performing arts and literary events along with a year-round workshop series. The development of collaborative projects and workshops is focused on fostering inclusion through the arts and education among individuals with and without disabilities of all age groups. Antiheroes celebrates diversity and works in reaching new audiences and increasing accessibility in the multicultural community of South Florida.


History:

Antiheroes Project, Inc. was founded at the end of 2011 by José Manuel Domínguez and a group of artists and volunteers who decided to make a contribution to the arts dialogue in the multi-cultural community of South Florida. During these years, its leaders and the close group of collaborators have managed the collective and defined its work as multidisciplinary and mixed ability centered.

José Manuel Dominguez, Artistic Director, began his career in Cuba as a performing artist learning and working with well-known directors on the island. Baptized by fire as dramaturge, actor and lighting designer in Havana’s Teatro El Público, he moved to Miami after losing his vision. There he faced a new reality as an artist with a disability that would impede most from directing. Not allowing this to hinder his desires, the journey helped define the focus of the organization and gave him an inclusive perspective in the possibilities for multidisciplinary collaborations with artists with diverse backgrounds and abilities.

In 2006, prior to stablishing Antiheroes Project as an organization, Dominguez worked with Anchor Arts on the project Hostages of the Arts: Surrender! in which he collaborated with Gary Lund, Lucia Aratanha and Erick Flis. This project was the beginning of a working relationship with Aratanha and others where he was able to develop techniques as an actor with disabilities and expand his work and collaborative experience, and which influenced greatly the need to create a space to nurture this work and further grow the possibilities for multidisciplinary collaborations. His hybrid experience of European Anthropological Theater, North American physical theater and Latin American theater traditions is perfectly suited and relevant to the local arts scene, where Antiheroes Project has grown and be in an organic dialogue with the community of South Florida.  From the onset, Antiheroes has redefined what it means to make multi-lingual works that are inclusive of artists and community members alike. Thus far, the company has created 9 original theater productions including one evening-length work for children (2019), the first blind theater piece presented by community artists in Miami (2019), and a documentary entitled “Like Everyone Else (2017)” which has been touring the University and Community College circuit to raise awareness on issues such as inclusion and equity.

Back in 2013, Antiheroes was awarded the NOMAC Evolving Arts Residency Program, which allow the team the creation and presentation of “Nomadis” (2014) in multiple venues. Along with ASL interpretation, touch tour, supertitles, braille and large print programs (usually provided), the presentation in 2014 of this work at the MTC Sand Box made the organization’s wish for a show with audio description a reality. Thus, “Nomadis” allowed Antiheroes Project to exhibit at the highest level of accessibility among Latino organizations in the region. At the end of the same year, the company performed outside South Florida for the first when invited to teach and present this production at the Hillsborough Community College, Tampa. The tour included sharing educational and artistic experiences with Revolutions Dance, Inc. a prestigious mixed ability-centered organization. These incursions beyond South Florida mark an important moment in the history of the group, its efforts to fulfill its mission, reach new audiences, and establish new goals.

In 2015, the company was invited to perform an excerpt of their work at the ADA Silver Anniversary Summit at Carnival Studio, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and in January 2016, Antiheroes Project was awarded the NALAC Funds for the Arts by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture for the production of Fluorescent Moon, its first original interdisciplinary work exclusively created for and performed by blind actors. Built on the personal experiences of said actors, the work furthered the organizations mission to promote alternative voices in contemporary theater at a national level.

To date, Antiheroes has collaborated with individual artists and companies to bring forth productions like “Umbilical Limbo”, a short film” directed by Claudio Marcotulli (2015), as well as “La Princesa Aoi (Lady Aoi)” (2015) by Yukio Mishima, directed by Dominguez and presented in collaboration with La Imaginaria – Indy Theater ; “The History House” a collaborative dance theater work (2015) and the site work “Urdimbre y Trama (The Warp and Weft)” (2018) both under the direction of Niurca Márquez.

Currently, Jose Manuel Dominguez is working on the third installment of a series of original works that research and shed light on the stories of Miami’s identity and the challenges faced by the groups that inhabit the diverse city’s neighborhoods. “Hijos de la Playa (Sons of the Beach)” (2018) and “Barrio Babel” (2019), (commissioned by the Koubek Center of Little Havana – Programa En Residencia, are the first two episodes of this quest.

With “Mahagonny”, in 2012, Antiheroes started the development of an educational program presenting free, inclusive, and bilingual workshops for the community at large in different accessible venues. With particular emphasis on the creation of a reverse inclusion model, the popularity of these events has grown quickly, and accessibility, professional quality and enthusiasm define the workshops series.  The current educational component includes The Finders Keepers (children) and The Wanderers Series (adolescents and adults). The series of workshops entitled The Secret Performances was implemented in 2015 for professional artists only and takes place on alternate years. “Uno vuelve siempre al Sur,” is the name of the latest series, now in its third installment (occurs on alternate years), intended to expose Miami audiences to the work of emerging playwrights/writers from Latin America under the direction of local guest artists.

Antiheroes has consistently been awarded the Audience Access Grant by the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Department since its onset, also receiving awards from the Community Grants and Developing Arts in Neighborhoods Grant Programs for various years running. Although it is a small organization, it is a pioneer within the Hispanic Community by providing American Sign Language Interpretation, audio description services, touch tours, Braille, and large print programs in several main stage and workshop presentations.

By being engaged and contributing members of the Miami arts scene for years, the Antiheroes Project has now galvanized its energy to focus a group effort on its mission of fostering inclusion through the arts and education.


Team:

José Manuel Domínguez
Founder and Artistic Director

José Manuel Domínguez is an artist influenced by the postmodern-contemporary art movements. He graduated from the Instituto Superior de Artes, Havana, Cuba, 1996, with Bachelor’s degrees in Acting and Theater Direction.
In 2000, he moved to Miami, Florida, and began developing a career as an independent performer, collaborating in various multi-disciplinary endeavors with the local artistic community. In 2010 was the premiere of Hilo (Thread), his first solo performance for the Spanish-speaking audience of Miami. Written and performed by Domínguez, and directed by Lucia Aratanha, Hilo was the result of his fertile encounter with the local dance community of Miami.
Following this work, Dominguez conceived the idea of creating an artistic platform to contribute to the cultural dialog among diverse communities in South Florida. This is how, in 2011, he founds Antiheroes Project, a nonprofit organization which empowers the production of artistic venture and educational experiences for the community at large, with emphasis on the inclusion of artists and community members with and without disabilities. As part of the educational component of Antiheroes Project, Domínguez and his collaborators have been teaching workshops and seminars during years, following experimental directions on improvisation, movement and sound techniques.
Domínguez has developed a working relationship with local, national and international artists and ensembles, including other theater directors, choreographers, filmmakers, musicians, and visual artists.
He is member of the Board of Directors of FUNDarte, and member of All Kids Included (AKI) Steering Group. Since 2009, Domínguez works for the Miami Dade College ACCESS Department (Disability Services).
He is an active member of the community of people with disabilities and works at the Miami-Dade College ACCESS – MEED since 2009.


Alejandro Negrón
Producer, Vice-president

Alejandro Negrón is a Venezuelan Computer Engineer and a free-lance producer. He moved to Miami and soon after started working for the Archdiocese of Miami. During almost twenty years he has been working as a Sales and Marketing Advisor for this entity where he has also developed several software applications.
During over fifteen years, Mr. Negrón has also been a member of the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal benefit society founded in New Haven in 1882, among other charitable organizations.
As an enterprising businessman, Negrón has worked as freelance producer in multiple artistic endeavors in the community, including most of the productions of Antiheroes Project. Currently he is the vice-president of MarkExpress, and international company of shipments of goods and heavy equipment.
Alejandro Negrón holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Engineer from the University Rafael Urdaneta, Maracaibo, Venezuela.


Ivette Kellems
Founder, Board member

Ivette Kellems is a Peruvian actress who grew up in dressing rooms, playing behind the scenes and television sets. She studied drama at Lima with Reynaldo D’amore, and in Buenos Aires with Linda Ledesma and Vanina Fabiak; then psychology in the search for tools to further the construction of her characters. In Lima, she participated in various theater productions including Lluvia directed by Osvaldo Cattone, La Perricholi, and La Barca sin Pescador with the ICPNA (Peruvian-American Cultural Institute). In 1999 she co-directed with Terry Bushby Connie Bill 2000 which was a virtual reality play in the Peruvian-Japanese Theater. Between 1994 and 1997 works as a drama teacher in high schools and private workshops in Lima.
During the 2000s, Ivette moved to Miami and inserted into the theatrical life of the city by participating in workshops and productions of group Teatro en Miami (TEM). The productions made during these years include: Improvisando Chekhov, Aromas de un Viaje, Enema, Los Acosados, Así es Si Así os Parece, among others.
As part of working with TEM, she was also invited to direct the children’s play Little Plays for Little People, which premiered in the libraries of Miami-Dade County.
In 2011, invited by Cuban director Jose Manuel Dominguez, Ms. Kellems alongside with her mother, actress Esther Chavez, starts the Spanish comedy Ñaque o de Piojos y Actores, invited to the festival TEMFest 2011, and produced by the company Hybrid Scene. From this moment the idea of founding a new company arises and alongside Mr. Dominguez, they gives origin to Antiheroes Project in which she collaborates until the present.
Ivette has a masters degree in Psychology from Carlos Albizu University, and currently she works in federal programs of family reunification and group therapies.


Roberto Pérez de Paz
ADA Coordinator and Board Member

Mr. Perez graduated as Computer Science Engineer at the University of Havana, Cuba, in 2006. He performed as the director of the Assistive Technology Department at the Cuban National Association of the Blind (ANCI) for over four years. As director of that department, he develops programs and strategies to empower the life of visually impaired individuals through the use of technology. During those years, he also worked as consultant for other organizations such as Handicap International in the creation of accessible resources for the visually impaired community.
In 2010, Mr. Perez moved to the United States and received a State of Florida Division of Blind Services Endorsement in Assistive Technology Certification – Certified in training Blind/VI Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS) clients in the use of screen readers and screen enlargement software.
Mr. Perez has served as Assistive Technology Instructor at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, and as Accessible Technology Consultant for Antiheroes Project, Inc. At the same time he worked as part of the Creative Team of the organization as performer and literary advisor. Currently, Mr. Perez is in charge of the accessibility component of the Antiheroes Project web page.
As a board member, he is part in the development of the new artistic projects. Mr. Perez feels passion for state-of-the-art technology and has an excellent sense of humor.


Jorge Otiniano
Contents Developer and Board member

After going to a taping of the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in 2015, Jorge Otiniano discovered his true passion was the world of television and entertainment. Soon after, he changed his major from Mechanical Engineer to Film and TV production. Two years later, in 2017, Mr. Otiniano graduated with a bachelor degree in that industry.
He has since worked on various TV series with FX and Nickelodeon as well as commercials for companies such as Colgate.
Jorge Otiniano is in charge of the Documentation and Contents Development Section of Antiheroes Project, as well as its communications campaigns. He also works on the creation of educational materials for the community of people with and without disabilities. In addition, he has documented projects for numerous non-for-profit organizations in South Florida and individual artists, and his photographic works have been featured by El Nuevo Herald, Miami New Times and Art Burst Miami among others.
Mr. Otiniano joins Antiheroes’ team in 2015. His passions are photography, technology, travels and the entertainment industry.