Paul Bonin Rodriguez

Paul Bonin-Rodriguez is a writer-performer whose scholarship assesses the origins and effects of contemporary arts and culture policies and programs, with a special focus on queer performance and performances by people of color. His book, Performing Policy: How Politics and Cultural Programs Redefined U.S. Artists for the Twenty-first Century (Palgrave, 2014), shows how arts research and development initiatives since the late 1990s have radically reshaped cultural practices nationwide. Chronicling both historical, paradigm setting moments and contemporary artist driven initiatives, Performing Policy demonstrates how “creatives” regularly negotiate market-based and value-based concerns and shows how they may more effectively and ethically pursue opportunities in communities where they work. Drawing on his own career as an artist and arts administrator, following closely cultural policy developments, and working between the academy and the field of artistic practice, Dr. Bonin-Rodriguez creates new ways of framing and teaching artistic practice and sustainability in all cultural sectors. In 2011, he was named to the Society for Teaching Excellence, a division of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers for junior faculty.

Nationally, Dr. Bonin-Rodriguez’s research contributes to policy research and development. From 2006-2013, he served as an artist advisor to Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), a ten-year initiative dedicated to creating new opportunities for US artists; in 2012, he served as a Visiting Scholar in the Culture and Creative Communities Program of the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, working with Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson. Currently, he is evaluating artist commissioning models in the United States and Latin America and studying philanthropic efforts to create cultural equity in the United States. 

As a scholar-artist, Dr. Bonin-Rodriguez publishes broadly. His articles appear in Artivate: a Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, Theatre Topics (forthcoming), and a forthcoming anthology on New WORLD Theater. His plays, which include Talk of the Town (1992), The Bible Belt and Other Accessories (1993), Love in the Time of College (1994), Quinceañera (1997, with Beto Araiza and Michael Marinez) and Memory’s Caretaker (1999), among others, have been published in The Color of Theatre: Race, Culture, and Contemporary Performance (Continuum, 2002), Jump-Start Playworks (Wings Press, 2004), and Text and Performance Quarterly.

Dr. Bonin-Rodriguez comes to The University of Texas at Austin after a twenty-year career as an artist. Originally trained as a dancer, he has worked as a television producer, playwright, and actor, as well as an arts administrator. Since 1992, he has toured nationally as a writer-performer. He was a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow (2001-2004) and recently co-chaired its annual Conference of Fellows (2013). Twice he has been named a Tennessee Williams Fellow at the University of the South in Sewanee, and from 2001-2004. He has served on the boards of the National Performance Network, the San Antonio Dance Umbrella, and Jump-Start Performance Co. and has been awarded an “Artist Vision of Peace” Award by St. Mary’s University in 2003. 

Photo Credit: Art Stokes

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Performance as Public Practice
Phone: 512-232-5310

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