Nicolas Ramiro Valdez is a San Antonio, Texas based performance artist with over 15 years experience in cultural arts activism. His introduction to the stage came early. Nicolas was trained in traditional Conjunto music by master accordionist Valerio Longoria Sr. at the age of 9 and by 15 he was an active member of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s youth theater company Grupo Animo, writing and performing in original staged works. Nicolas attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied classical theater and was cast in several student productions. His real training, however, came from the practical experience of working with other performance-based artists around the country, learning from their various processes and methodologies. Over the years, Nicolas has developed his own unique style incorporating music, poetry and theater into culturally relevant performances that speak to the experiences of the communities along the US-Mexico border. He has also dedicated much of his time to working with young artists in underrepresented communities of color. Nicolas continues to develop new works challenging audiences to not only observe, but to actively participate in a critical dialogue of the economic and political forces that continue to marginalize and scapegoat the working-class.