Scholar Class – 2012
Sarah Biscarra-Dilley was born in the Central Valley of California and raised by a family that was non-traditional by many standards. The mixed-heritage, lesbian daughter of a strong-willed Mexican and Native American mother and an out, HIV-positive father, she has had the distinct benefit of being raised by inter-generational networks of blood and chosen/LGBTQ family; something to which she attributes many of her skills. She believes firmly in the integration of these skills into her academic, artistic and activist practice.
A former high school dropout currently pursuing her BA in Urban Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, she is also a voting member of the California Indian Basketweavers Association and participating artist in the National Queer Arts Festival several years running. She looks forward to continuing to reclaim a positive association with educational institutions through a college career that is academically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally engaged. This is, she believes, necessary to achieve her long-term goals of becoming an arts educator with a commitment to social justice and mentor to LGBTQ and Two-Spirit youth in order to support the image-makers, artists, cultural stewards, activists and visionaries of tomorrow while grounding in the struggles of those who came before. She is proud to walk in their footsteps.
“As artists, we shape and illuminate the world we inhabit and have the responsibility to incorporate the lessons of those who came before us into the inspiration for those yet to come. This involved process is much like basketry; it takes great patience and skill to incorporate many fibers into a cohesive whole. This whole holds a history while taking on a new life in the future. The same is true of the role of art in the expression and survival of culture. The responsibility that we hold, as image-makers, artists, cultural stewards, activists and visionaries, is a crucial part of the existence of culture itself. The act of creating ensures cultural and spiritual survival, engages and enlivens our surroundings. In doing so, we create new rituals to supplement those that have been used since time immemorial in the pursuit of a vibrant future.”