Kultura Festival is an annual Filipino food and arts festival hosted by Filipino Kitchen, carefully curated to appeal to those who personally identify with Filipino culture and the merely curious or uninitiated. Kultura Festival aims to highlight the best in Filipino-American food and arts in Chicago and the Midwest and has traditionally provided a platform for forward-thinking Filipino American musicians.
Bay Area rapper, producer, and spoken word poet Ruby Ibarra headlined the last festival, bringing empowered, politically conscious rhymes to the Kultura stage in a rare Chicago appearance, as well as NYC-based “Slaysian” pop singer K Rizz. Also for performers, a local Chicagoan and Grammy-nominated artist, Jofred Estilo, and his full live band. The DJs on stage last year were Chicago natives, Dj Czboogie and DJ King Marie.
As Kultura’s performance artist coordinator and director of photography, Mikayla booked two of the most influential and hottest Filipino female rappers of today, Ruby Ibarra and K Rizz, along with popular local Filipino artists and DJs, Jofred Estilo, DJ King Marie, and DJ Czboogie. This last year’s Kultura was held at Emporium Arcade in Logan Square, along with the pop-up space and the bar attached to it. She also organized and held a breakdance and all styles jam in the pop-up venue. This was a dance battle open up to the public and invited the Chicago dance community. Here, she booked highly respected Filipinos in the dance community for the judges panel, host, and DJ.
Her Notoriety is a female-focused collective and creative agency specializing in creative direction and content creation within the streetwear community. As a branch project deriving from Modern Notoriety, Her Notoriety aims to empower groups not often highlighted in the male-dominated industry.
She and the agency has photographed and created content for Puma, Finish Line, and Pogo Boutique. They also curated event releases for: Nike Air Max 97 Swarovski Gold and Aleali May Jordan 1 High ‘Viotech’ shoes at Pogo Boutique that included a photoshoot look book and a curated closet instillation.
The Philippines collection at the Field Museum consists of over 10,000 artifacts, hidden within the vaults of the museum. The museum created this co-curations project to outsource members of the Filipino community to digitize, document, and bring attention to these artifacts that have been not been touched for years.
As a member of the co-curations team, Mikayla photographed and digitized objects to put onto an online portal and curated events at the museum to engage the Filipino community and museum visitors in the co-curation project and the artifacts. For about three years, she and the team held monthly events in and out of the museum where they picked out different artifacts to display. Each event had its own theme pairing with the artifacts displayed, such as Gender and Sexuality, Identity, and more. They invited guest speakers and various Filipino organizations to collaborate with and to help open up conversations, document stories, and to get a better understanding of the artifacts.
The Museum of Contemporary Art
The Teen Creative Agency (TCA) was founded in September 2011 and is the MCA’s intensive, immersive creative youth development program. TCA is made up of a group of 25 curious, creative, committed young people, age 15 to 19, from all over the Chicago area who meet at the MCA every Saturday for two years. Led by two artists, TCA members learn about the museum; immerse themselves in contemporary art and ideas at the MCA and elsewhere in Chicago; collaborate with museum staff, other artists, and young people; and hone their collaboration, communication, and leadership skills. With this new knowledge, they curate exciting, unexpected, critical, and creative programs with and for their peers, as well as the general public. This includes the Living Room, a monthly pop-up program, and 21Minus, our annual festival of contemporary art and experiences developed by artists under 21 years of age. TCA’s goal is to build a generation of connected, creative collaborators.
As far as the monthly events we curated at the museum, she was also a part of curating and photographing:
VICTORY INC. Nike Chicago
Through Victory Inc., Mikayla has photographed Nike Chicago events, specifically women events, and also created digital content for Nike.