I am an ARTIST! I DANCE! I CREATE! No more excuses, no more hiding. Anna Librada Teaching & Performing Artist and Producer is going public. I founded and produce the Hudson Valley Flamenco Festival. I perform. I teach workshops. I organize events where we make paella over an open fire and then feast while watching an intimate flamenco performance akin to the oldest flamenco clubs in Spain. I have a BRAND. I am doing the same things I have been doing for my entire career: teaching, performing, producing but I am finally focusing my energy and getting very intentional. I am shouting loud and proud to the world THIS IS MY WORK and IT HAS VALUE and it is only going to get better from here on out.
In Spain, the first question people ask upon meeting you is ‘Where are you from?” Nobody asks, “What do you do?” It’s rude. In my years as an adult and wife here in the States, no one had ever asked me what I did because the answer was obvious – it was hanging in the baby carrier on my chest or tugging at my skirt.
Most of my adult life in the States has been as a Navy wife, trying to gracefully solo parent my babies while my husband was away. But then we moved to DC, and everyone’s first question is, “What do you do?” I would answer, “nothing.” Crickets.
People can’t rank my net worth and value. They can’t measure my productivity because there’s nothing to measure in the traditional sense. Telling people I did “nothing” didn’t feel good and my soul would shriek in protest. The alternate, “oh, I birth babies alone and move my family of four plus two large dogs back and forth over the Atlantic every three years all the while trying to become a master of my craft which is an ancient practice that people dedicate entire lifetimes to and still feel like they know nothing…” didn’t feel quite appropriate either. But things have changed
This year I’m answering that question clearly and confidently. I’m choosing to embody it, believe it, and live it – fully, no matter what. It has meant a lot of jumping in feet first before I am ready and asking for help where I have never asked for help before.
Jill Lisi of JKL Consulting has taken me through what we joke is therapy for your business as she helps me identify and design my brand. Jill’s work has made me focus and become intentional about my goals and vision for the future. She has given me the words to answer the question, “what do you do?” Anna Librada and the HV Flamenco Festival offer experiences of flamenco for people looking for adventure, fun, connection and their authentic selves. Together we delve into the mystery and passion of a flamenco practice while having a great time, supporting each other and learning how to be unapologetically ourselves.
My soul sister and MilspoFAN member is helping me design and launch the Hudson Valley Flamenco Festival website. She and I have had the joy of meeting up weekly and being accountability partners for our arts and dreams. Jess’s authenticity and drive are inspiring. She heard my goal to have a website and turned it into reality when she said, “Yes. You need to make your own platform. I will do it for you!” Meeting with Jess motivates me to do the work no matter how worried or scared I am.
Now, the HV Flamenco Festival is going to celebrate its THIRD year. I am fast at work brainstorming ways we can hold the HV Flamenco Festival in spite of ongoing coronavirus worries.