About the Artists

Yvonne Montoya is an award-winning artist, mother, freelance choreographer, consultant, guest lecturer, and founding director of Safos Dance Theatre based in Tucson, AZ. Originally from Alburquerque, NM, she studied modern dance at the University of Arizona where she earned a B.A. in Spanish and a M.S. in Mexican American Studies graduating summa cum laude. Before founding Safos in 2009, Ms. Montoya performed with Tucson-based modern dance companies FUNHOUSE movement theater, New ARTiculations Dance Theatre, Zeffirelli 8, and served as local teaching artist for Ballet Hispanico. Ms. Montoya is the lead choreographer for Safos Dance Theatre and was the visionary and director of “Color the Mural,” a two-year community mural project and site adaptive dance theater performance. Under her direction, Safos won the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s Lumie Award for Emerging Organization in 2015. Ms. Montoya is a graduate of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) Leadership Institute and Leadership Advocacy Institute and the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) Emerging Leaders of Color Leadership Program and Advocacy and Leadership Seminar. She was a fellow in EmcArts Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators (ALACI) Cohort 1, and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals Artist Institute in 2017.Ms. Montoya worked as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Arizona’s Department of Mexican American Studies (MAS) from 2006-2012 where she taught classes and oversaw student research on Latinx representations. She continues to dance and recently performed with Safos Dance Theatre, Borderlands Theater, the Latina Dance Theater Project and choreographer Norman Walker at Arizona Ballet Theater under the direction of Cecily Winslow-Bressel. She is currently working on a solo project entitled “Motherhood and the Performing Arts” that explores the challenges and rewards of mothers working in the performing arts. www.yvonnemontoya.co

Buddy was born on the 4th of July. He is currently in elementary school and performs locally with the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus. Buddy likes road trips, playing piano, Minecraft, IP phones, and fire alarms. He also enjoys watching cartoons and playing soccer with his team the Panthers. Buddy’s favorite toy is Doggie Meh.

Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli is an award-winning professional photographer and filmmaker who has traveled to more than 80 countries – from Cuba to Cambodia and Kiribati to Tibet- capturing images for Lonely Planet travel guides and Rick Steves’ Europe. His forte is environmental portraiture, althoguh his projects include corporate, editorial, travel, and fashion work, including music videos. He has hosted six seasons of travel shows for Lonely Planet, the National Geographic Adventure Channel, Discovery Asia, the Travel Channel, and the BBC across Latin America, Europe, and Asia. His editorial work has been featured in Variety, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, and he is the cover photographer for MovieMaker Magazine in Los Angeles. His film and photo clients include the Space Needle, the Gates Foundation, 3 Form, the Clinton Foundation, and the United Nations. He has shot such luminaries as Stephen Hawking, Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek, Kennet Branagh, Barack Obama,  the Dalai Lama, and Sting. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema, Bonuccelli is a dual American and Italian citizen, and is currently working on a coffee table book of his best images of the last 20 years for Rick Steves’ Europe. www.azfoto.com


About the Project

The Motherhood and the Performing Arts (MPA) Project was born out of my desire to dedicate more of my time and energies to my son. While neck deep into a multi-year, multi-faceted visual and performing arts project with a heavy community engagement component, I realized that over the past seven years I have dedicated a large amount of my life to growing and nurturing a company, frequently at the expense of quality time I could have spent with my son. My son is seven. For his entire life, he has been competing with my company for my attention. I decided then that I would take a break from my company and create work centered around my son and my role as a mother. Thus was born the MPA project. This project is meant to be a reflection of the challenges and joys of juggling motherhood and a career in the performing arts.

The MPA project has three main components:

  1. A dance film shot in the marginal and, often intimate, spaces where my career
    and role as a mother brush up against each other.
  2. A blog with reflections from the past seven years.
  3. An earring collection complete with block and puzzle earrings created from the lost and left over toys I am constantly stepping on in the hallway.

Project collaborators include film maker and photographer Dominic AZ Bonuccelli, graphic designer Joel Harris, composer María Granillo, and editors Nicole Gurgel-Seefeldt and Mele Martínez.

Welcome to the MPA project.


Project Support

Visit our Square Store!

You can also support the MPA Project on Indiegogo!

To make a tax deductible donation to the MPA Project, contact us at 520.481.1656.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Tucson Pima Arts Council and the Arizona Commission on the Arts which receives support from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts .


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