ARTS DISTRICT Emerging Artist

Opportunity for
Rent-Free Studio Space In
Liberty Station

In 2022 the NTC Foundation selected 3 emerging artists to hold space in ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station. NTC Foundation’s Emerging Artists program has an initiative to foster emerging San Diego/Southern Baja Region dancers/choreographers with studio space and the chance to participate in a growing, creative environment. The initiative is designed to help them build their career in San Diego, engage with other artists, and grow their audience and patron base for future success.


2023 Emerging Artist

Leslye Villaseñor is a recent Studio Arts graduate from UCSD, Leslye Villaseñor has exhibited as part of several exhibitions throughout San Diego including South Central Library in Chula Vista, the Student Gallery at Southwestern College, the Adam D. Kamil Gallery at UCSD, and most recently at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla.

Primarily focused on oil painting, Leslye’s creations delve into the essence of human consciousness, memory, perception, and the rawness of human emotion based upon her own personal experience, direct observation, and philosophical underpinnings. Most of her work, which features melancholic and haunting themes, aims to capture a moment in time allowing audience members to feel connected with and insert themselves into these dream-like scenarios. More recently, during her work with the New Native Narratives Apprenticeship Program, Leslye explored the idea of imperfection in discarded materials where the shadow of a material’s past purpose remains. Now at the precipice of her budding professional career, Leslye is eager to dedicate herself completely to experimentation, research and creation.

2022 Emerging Artists

Dance/Choreographer Trixi Anne Agiao

Trixi Anne Agiao is a socially conscious performer, choreographer and filmmaker using the digital guise of The Thoughtful Beast. She creates work centered on fighting the stigma against mental illness and mental health. Trixi graduated Summa Cum Laude from UC San Diego where she received most of her formalized dance training. She  grew up practicing indigenous Igorot dances from the Philippines. Trixi spent time as a dancer and assistant director with Visionary Dance Theatre and is now a freelancer who has been expanding her performing and creating mediums.

Trixi actively participates in the following organizations: Movement Catalysts San Diego, The Filam Film Collective, The San Diego Filipino Cinema, United AAPI Artists, Visionary Dance Theatre and Mental Wellness for Artists. Trixi looks forward to seeing how San Diego progresses with so many grassroots organizations and BIPOC nonprofits creating change.



Dance/Choreographer Lavina Rich, black and white

Lavina Rich, choreographer and founder of Push Process Movement, is focused on exploring the human experience through movement, humor and shared emotions. She studied dance at Grossmont College and then UCSD, learning from many of San Diego’s finest dance creators and educators.

Lavina performed at the Without Walls (WOW) Festival, produced by the La Jolla Playhouse, in April 2022.  It was here that Lavina premiered her new work, The Reticent Volcano. She is now shifting and beginning a new work for Disco Riot’s first Queer Movement Festival in June 2022. This work will explore the life of Nancy Valverde and the masquerading laws of the 1940/1950s in Southern California. Lavina plans on expanding this piece into a full evening length piece while she is in residency here at ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station.

Lavina’s vision for the ARTS DISTRICT space over the coming months and year includes producing new works she has been contemplating with Push Process Theory.


Dance/Choreographer Marcella Torres-Sanchez

Marcella Torres-Sánchez hails from Tijuana, México, where she began her dance training at Denz Dance Studio at the age of three. She then continued her artistic and experimental studies at Lux Boreal Dance Company, where she received a certification in Contemporary Dance and Scenic Production. She was a member of Gloria Campobello Dance School and the Northwest México Ballet, and later received her Associate’s Degree in Visual and Performing Arts from San Diego City College. In 2020, Marcella graduated with honors from UC San Diego where was awarded the Patricia Rincon Diversity Award for her senior capstone project “Flores Ma(r)chitas.”

In 2021, Marcella was selected as one of the participants for the choreographers showcase “Movement Makers,” where she was one of the winners alongside Jio Chavez. Recently, she was selected as one of the finalist in San Diego Dance Theater Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize (2022) where she will present her newest piece entitled “Desplazados.”