Michelle Otero is a writer, community-based artist, and facilitator, who utilizes creative expression and storytelling as the basis for organizational development and positive social change. Her process of engaging individuals and communities through the expression of shared story has found a wide range of applications, from helping the City of Albuquerque establish an Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs to helping people heal from trauma.
She is the author of Malinche's Daughter, an essay collection based on her work with women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oaxaca, Mexico as a Fulbright Fellow.
She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she works with fellow artists and local farmers to implement the Community Table project, which combines art, local agriculture, and economic development as a platform for neighborhood revitalization. As Spanish-language Director for the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, she engages people navigating memory loss in a call and response performance of classic, well-known poems. She served as a coach/mentor for the inaugural class of W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellows.
Michelle holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She is a co-founding member of the TIASO Artist Cooperative, supporting artists with purpose so they can continue to feed themselves and their communities.