Design by Samantha Maria Xochitl Espinoza

Design by Samantha Maria Xochitl Espinoza

Talks & Panels

It’s a Moment

An Orlando-inspired evening of performances and conversations on transformation and empowerment in the arts.

It’s a Moment invites culturally and artistically diverse thinkers to envision a collective future for the arts and arts institutions as sites for community exchange, revolution, and recalibration of perspective and initiative. Organizers Ryanaustin Dennis and Samantha Maria Xochitl Espinoza ask participants to consider questions that Tilda Swinton posed as guest-editor of Issue #235: Orlando of Aperture magazine: “What is a society? What is a social conscience? What is social responsibility? What is a human? What future can we envisage for ourselves? What is hope?” As it applies to creative practice and arts institutions, the evening offers a platform for countercultural solidarity and broad thinking to emerging East Bay QPOC artists, students, and activists through dance, visual, and film. A small vendors market follows the presentations and performances.

It’s a Moment is co-organized for McEvoy Foundation for the Arts by Ryanaustin Dennis, Samantha Maria Xochitl Espinoza, and Pro Arts Gallery & Commons. It is presented in conjunction with Orlando (February 7 – May 2, 2020). Guest curated by Tilda Swinton and organized by Aperture, New York, the exhibition presents recent and commissioned photographs that embody a horizon of timelessness and self-expression as found in Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel.


Ryanaustin Dennis is an Oakland based curator, artist, writer, and cultural strategist who investigates how twentieth and twenty-first century experimental performance, film, and writing histories are shaped by the metaphysics of blackness. They are a former founding member of the curatorial collective The Black Aesthetic and have done curatorial work for Betti Ono Gallery, Oakland; Eastside Arts Alliance, Oakland; E.M. Wolfman Bookstore, Oakland; Kadist, San Francisco; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Open Space; and Soundwave Biennial, San Francisco. Dennis is a Curatorial Council Fellow at Southern Exposure, San Francisco. They currently co-curate the Black Life series at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and are a co-founder of the press Pro Arts Community Press at Pro Arts Gallery & Commons.

Samantha Maria Xochitl Espinoza is a queer Latinx artist and educator who works towards creating youth-centered spaces and programming for people of marginalized communities in Oakland. She has worked in a professional capacity for California College of the Arts, San Francisco; The Crucible, Oakland; E.M. Wolfman Bookstore, Oakland; and Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited at Artists Television Access, San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; CTRL + SHFT Collective, Oakland; Dream Farm Commons, Oakland; Isabelle Percy West Gallery, Oakland; and SomARTS, San Francisco. She received her B.F.A. from California College of the Arts and resides in Oakland, California.