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What Is The Mary Magdalene Celebration and Who Celebrates With Us?

The Mary Magdalene Celebration is an event that Raquel Z. Rivera and I, Tanya Torres, have celebrated in different forms since around 2006. I exhibit my Mary Magdalene paintings, Raquel sings her songs, we light 7 candles, everybody sings, and everybody dances!

This year we have invited more creative people to join us and make the event grow in joy and expressions of creativity: Yarisa Colón, poet and bookmaker; Corazon Tierra, dancer; Olga Huraira Ayala, artisan; Migdalia Santiago, writer, healer and reiki master; Mercedes Molina, doll maker; Lulu Garcia, botanical products and reiki master; Xiomara Evans and Marni Rice, Dance Theater Company; Maria Mar, writer, artist and mystic; Myrna Nieves, writer and poet; Elsie Deliz Fonseca, jewerly artisan and visual artist; and the event's Madrina (Godmother) Minerva González, visual artist.

The evening will start with a space full of red. Red paper flowers, red table covers, you in red! There will be a mini-crafts fair, free reiki and a picture taking zone with giant red flowers and red veils where you can become the Magdalene and take photos. Walk around the space, see the art, enjoy a short reiki session, experience the beautiful work of the crafters, artists and writers that will be presenting in the mini-fair. Flow accompanied by the music selected by Raquel Z. Rivera, who is preparing a collection of songs for the evening.

The formal event starts with Corazón Tierra, who will envelope us in the veil of the Magdalene with her Dance of the Heart, a work she is preparing inspired by the Magdalene and especially conceived for this evening. Xiomara Evans and Marni Rice, who together form a Dance Theater Company, will follow with their Magdala: Stories of the Net and the Sea, a beautiful dance-theater piece of which they will share the first act. The event culminates with the music of Raquel Z. Rivera and Ojos de Sofía, her beautiful songs composed for Mary Magdalene and inspired by readings, inspirations, longings and many talks in my old studio. The last song is an invitation to join the dance, and our friend Alexandra, will open the space with her ancestral Puerto Rican Bomba dance. (I just hope that I will find Alexandra soon, since she said she will be there, but I have not been able to find her to reconfirm: her phone is out of service!)

An altar with 7 candles, one for each song offered, will be the focus as the singing starts. I will light each candle as Raquel begins a song. Guests might leave prayers or objects to be blessed by the love, peace and joy of the evening when they arrive prior to the singing.

Who Celebrates Mary Magdalene With Us?

The Mary Magdalene Celebration is attended by creative, spiritual women and men who love experiencing art as a transformative event/object. People whose homes are shrines, and whose lives are laboratories for the expansion of their souls. People who seek unique experiences that are made especially for them, by people with their own values. Women and men who work intensely, and deeply care about their mission in the world, and support those other women and men like them, who make a difference by striving to be the best versions of themselves that they can be.

This is what Mary Magdalene represents for us and why we celebrate life, art and creativity as personified by this mythical character. And You are invited to join us. Fill your soul with music, art, dance, literature and crafts, and surround yourself with the color red, the color of passion, energy and strength. July 22, 6-9 pm at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, 106 street and Lexington Avenue in NYC. RSVP at, and bring all your best friends!

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Tanya Torres  
Art for Love, Peace and Joy

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