creative:impact - Creating A Career Path In Dance, Choreography And Acting

Oct 2, 2018

Maija Garcia
Credit Majia Garcia /

Washtenaw County's artistic influence can spread all across the country. One former Ann Arbor resident is a prime example.  In this week's "creative:impact," WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich talk to director/choreographer Maija Garcia, who was just appointed director of professional training at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Deb Polich, President and CEO of The Arts Alliance

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County. 

About Maija Garcia

Maija Garcia
Credit Maija Garcia /

Maija Garcia is a Cuban-American director and choreographer whose signature work is featured in Guthrie Theater's new production of West Side Story, directed by Joe Haj, Spike Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It and the film Chi-Raq.  Director of Salsa, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha in Havana, Cuba, Heather Henson’s CRANE and Legend of Yauna with Marie Daulne (Zap Mama).

Choreographic works include Hatuey, a Cuban-Yiddish Opera at Montclair Peak Performances, Cuba Libre at Artists Repertory Theater, Another Word for Beauty at the Goodman Theater and Fats Waller Dance Party with Jason Moran and Meshell N'degeocello at Harlem Stage and Kennedy Center. 

Garcia worked alongside Bill T. Jones to choreograph the Tony Award winning musical FELA! On Broadway, and as creative director of FELA! World Tour and FELA! The Concert.

A graduate of California Institute of Integral Studies with a BA in Sustainable Development, Garcia founded Organic Magnetics and produced Ghosts of Manhattan: 1512-2012 an interactive history in Fort Tryon Park and I Am NY: Juan Rodriguez at El Museo del Barrio. 

Maija Garcia
Credit Maija Garcia /

Newly named director of professional training at Guthrie Theater, Garcia is relocating to Minneapolis to direct BFA Acting, MFA Guthrie Experience and Fellowship programs to advance early career professionals in all areas of theater production, performing arts and artistic leadership. 


Guthrie Theater

Organic Magnetics

Maija Garcia Bio

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at