Mark Travis Rivera shares his story of overcoming obstacles and owning all his intersections so he could be the best at telling his own story.
Listeners, we're back this week with Mark Travis Rivera.
Mark Travis Rivera is an award-winning professional storyteller––telling stories is at the core of Mark’s purpose in life. A graduate of William Paterson University of New Jersey, Rivera earned a bachelor’s in women’s & gender studies with a minor in public relations. In 2013, Rivera received the Student Government Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to the William Paterson community. In the same year, he was honored with the Campus Pride Voice & Action Award for his work with the LGBTQ community. More recently, he won the Audre Lorde Award for Social Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Rivera is the youngest person to found an integrated dance company in the United States, marked dance project, a contemporary company for dancers with and without disabilities, established in March 2009, made its debut at Rutgers University. The company has also performed at the Silk City Summer Arts Festival, the Painted Bride Art Center, the Mandell Theater, the Actor’s Fund Arts Center in Brooklyn, NY and New York University. Through MDP, Rivera has worked with choreographers such as Caitlin Trainor, Stacey Tookey, Todrick Hall, Tyce Diorio, and Marinda Davis. After ten years of remarkable dancing, Rivera decided to dissolve the marked dance project and continue working as an independent disabled choreographer. Rivera’s writing has also been published in The Bergen Record, Herald News, The Star Ledger, Fox News Latino, and The Huffington Post. His debut collection, Drafts: An Imperfect Collection of Writing was published in August of 2017 through Amazon. In 2020, Rivera launched his wellness podcast, Marking The Path, which is available on Apple Podcast and Spotify.
During our conversation, we talked about:
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7:47 - Thinking about his identity
9:27 - Racial identity
13:42 - Miami & Jersey
15:27 - His mother & his pursuit of ‘home’
25:35 - Living in NYC
29:45 - The label ‘ally’
41:23 - Being a ‘professional storyteller’
45:26 - Authenticity
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