Opinion: The Seamless Intersectionality of Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center

Paying tribute to Cat Willis and her important work

The TWDCC’s Diaspora Performance Project supports the development of new work by artists like Oumou Faye. PHOTO: CLIFF WARNER

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

At the end of last year, we saluted Santa Cruz’s Cat Willis for her work with Black Health Matters, naming it one of the 50 great local things that got us through 2020. Now, just a couple of weeks later, Willis is once again in our cover story, this time for her work with the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Clearly, Willis is doing important work on multiple issues in our community.

What’s truly amazing is the way the work intersects seamlessly. But then, as you’ll read in Georgia Johnson’s story about Willis and TWDCC, she has a way of bringing a multitude of elements together in unique ways. From the organic way the organization came together to the way it elevates diverse styles and forms that have been underappreciated, TWDCC has made a tradition out of connecting traditions.

As Willis herself points out in the story, “intersectionality” has become a bit of a cliché. Leave it to a Santa Cruz group like TWDCC to get beneath our assumptions and bring real meaning back to the concept. Here’s to another decade of dance that challenges and unites.

I also want to remind everyone to vote for our Best of Santa Cruz awards at It goes without saying in these extremely difficult pandemic times that your favorite businesses need your support more than ever. Getting that award for “Best Takeout” or “Best Bike Shop” or “Best Desserts” can be a huge difference-maker right now. Cast your vote today!


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Re: Food Trucks

Come on now! Watsonville has beautiful weather and beautiful landscapes, but it is like living under Communist surveillance. We can’t even have a bowling alley! The cops out here get extra pay for gangs. If there are even any gangs here, they are the police. Gang affiliates are being priced out and leaving to Salinas. Watsonville PD pesters students and the working class more than gang members.

I can see the future of Watsonville and it looks very white to me.

— Seven Velez VII

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