MarÃa Elena GaitÃ¡n is a fourth generation musician, a performance artist and like her friend of many years, Marisela Norte, she is also a native of East Los Angeles. GaitÃ¡n's first performance art piece, "La CondiciÃ³n Femenina", was created and performed with Norte in the early 80's as part of the Asco conceptual art group's performances. GaitÃ¡n has brought performance to a wide range of venues throughout the United States and in Portugal, including performances of Igor Stravinsky's "The Soldier's Tale," directed by Peter Sellars with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen. Her artistic collaborative works have been featured by "Meet The Composer" and "Arts International." She is the first Latino artist ever invited to participate in the Ford Foundation's Africa Exchange Project and has developed artistic works about the African Diaspora in Mexico for over a decade. Her solo works have focused on social justice satire and women's health including: "Chola Con Cello: A Home Girl In The Philharmonic," "The Adventures of Connie Chancla," and "<Â¡The Teta Show!>" often performed for standing-room only audiences. She is the first U.S. artist to receive the Gateways Bi-national Ford/Rockefeller Residency Award and has been a Lead Artist for the Ford Foundation's Animating Democracy Initiative. GaitÃ¡n was a recipient of the Anonymous Was A Woman Foundation Award in 2003.
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