Vanessa Mercado-Taylor

A woman with short curly hair, an embroidered floral dress, lays on a green background and smiles slightly at the camera.

Fall 2021 PPEH Artist in Residence


Vanessa Mercado-Taylor is a Xicana-Colombiana educator, theatre director, performer, producer and playwright who for more than 20 years has created performances and community gatherings that bridge worlds while creating a dialogue about human rights and social justice.  Through her work with DellArte Int’l, Cara Mia Theatre and Pangea World Theatre she gained experience in physical theatre, collective creation and human rights in the arts.  She created and directed an award-winning show at the Prague International Fringe Festival and has produced at the Toronto, Los Angeles and Dallas Fringe Festivals. Vanessa is a Professor of Mexican American Studies, Drama and Humanities at Dallas College, where she created the Hip Hop Studies program, directed the Free Minds Clemente Course and leads the Equity in Education League.  In the community college, she addresses structural racism and facilitates transformative personal and institutional growth through decolonizing curriculums and equity initiatives.  She is the recipient of the 2019 TACHE Distinguished Faculty Award. (Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education)