Modesto ‘Flako’ Jimenez is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised, multi-hyphenate artist. As a poet, playwright, educator, actor, producer, and director, his work exists in and explores the intersections of identity, language, mediums, cultures, and communities found in his personal life and beyond. Flako’s recent work includes Taxilandia, a multifaceted Bushwick community tour and poetic experience from the back of a taxi cab that earned the NY Times Critics Pick and rave reviews from Time Out New York. Flako is the founder of ¡Oye! Group, a nonprofit that serves as an incubator for artists both native and immigrant to New York City. In 2021, Flako received a Jerome Foundation Fellowship and Foundation for Contemporary Arts award in performing arts and theater. Currently, Flako is working on Mercedes, a multi-disciplinary art experience exploring the relationships between matriarchy and ancestors, familial bonds and inherited trauma, and how our own identity can impact our mental health.
"The Mercedes Healing Room" is a multidisciplinary community space for participants to explore their relationship to caregiving, dementia, trauma, identity, mental health, and more. During this eight week program, seniors at the Cypress Hills and RiseBoro Senior Centers are invited to attend weekly therapeutic art workshops led by teaching artists. Participants will be encouraged to express themselves artistically in a judgment-free zone. Following the workshops, participants will be invited to showcase their art in a gallery exhibition, which will feature a screening of the Mercedes documentary as well as a collection of stories gathered from community members.