Video 3 | coOPERAtion: The Healing Power of Expressive Arts

Presenters: Dr. Karen Estrella, Dr. Carlos César Rodríguez, Dr. Peter Joshua Burroughs

This video was created in collaboration with RÓMEZ3arts.


Carlos César Rodríguez, D.M.A.

The Washington Post lauded Carlos César Rodríguez as a “powerful…virtuoso…masterful pianist”. As concert-pianist he made his recital debut in his native Venezuela at age 5, solo orchestral debut at 11, and Carnegie Hall debut at age 21. He has toured Europe and the Americas performing concerti and solo recitals. He has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center; the White House; the Corcoran Gallery, and National Gallery of Arts in Washington D.C.; Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Americas Society, 92nd Y in New York; and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He has appeared as a guest artist with Garth Newell Chamber Music Festival, National Chamber Ensemble, and has collaborated with Denyce Graves, Jessye Norman and Plácido Domingo. In 2005 he was awarded the Georg Solti Foundation US fellowship for outstanding young conductors. With the encouragement and collaboration of Maestro Plácido Domingo, Dr. Rodríguez implemented the Zarzuela Program (Spanish Operetta) for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists at Washington National Opera.

Dr. Rodríguez is the Founding Artistic Director of RÓMEZ3arts, with which he’s built inter-cultural exchanges in Cuba and Costa Rica since 2016. He is the music director for WORD Dance Theatre and appeared with them at the Kennedy Center’s ‘REACH’, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. Recently, he performed in Poland and Italy, with The Isadora Duncan International Institute, as well as NYC and Montreal. He continues to teach at the Selma M. Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. and collaborates on Arts for the Aging workshops with Peter Burroughs, Alex Russell, and Marla Bush. These workshops include coOPERAtion, The Poetry of Tango, and La Movida.

Karen Estrella, PhD, REAT, LMHC

Karen Estrella, PhD, REAT, LMHC, is a Professor at Lesley University’s Expressive Therapies and Mental Health counseling program. Dr. Estrella’s work has focused on developing competencies in expressive arts therapy as a unique specialization, multicultural issues in practice and supervision, and clinical case work in art therapy, music therapy, and expressive arts therapy. She also has an interest in the role of theory in practice and in developing an expressive arts therapy theory based in liberation psychology and critical feminist race theory. Dr. Estrella’s training in art therapy, music therapy, expressive arts therapy, and psychodynamic approaches to counseling and psychotherapy, as well as her clinical and research interests in multicultural issues in counseling, have led to a strong emphasis on social justice and social activism in Expressive Therapies. She holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and in addition to teaching internationally, she currently practices expressive arts therapy in schools, the criminal justice system, and community based mental health settings in the US.

Peter Joshua Burroughs, D.M.A.

Arts for the Aging teaching artist Peter Joshua Burroughs is a versatile singing actor who co-leads “La Movida” in addition to his signature “coOPERAtion” workshops. He has performed in many supporting roles with the Washington National Opera, as well as appearances in Weil recital hall in New York City and Principal roles with other regional opera companies. Internationally he has performed with Studio Lirico in Cortona, Italy, at London’s Clore Studio of Covent Garden and Teatro Milanes in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. Dr. Burroughs has worked extensively with young and old alike as an engaging teaching artist for Arts for The Aging, Washington National Opera, John F. Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Foundation, Spanish Dance Society, and Washington Concert Opera. He is a founding member of RÓMEZ3arts (Reach Out through Music, it’s E Z) a company dedicated to inter-cultural sharing and community building through arts.

Equally at home on the stage and in the classroom, Peter makes opera accessible to all. His series of programs titled coOPERAtion have inspired adult day care centers and classrooms in the D.C. metropolitan area for more than 20 years. His original residency plans for the John F. Kennedy Center Education and Washington National Opera (WNO) DCPS partnership as a teaching artist in both “Music, Words Opera Curriculum” and “Kids Create Opera” have been extremely successful.  He has toured Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. as well as North and South Carolina with children’s interactive opera programming and has also endeavored to take programming to his home state of Vermont. Peter holds a Bachelor of Music (BM) in Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College, Master of Music (MM), and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degrees from The University of Maryland College Park’s Maryland Opera Studio.

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