This piece is part of our Performing Arts Guide in the September 2022 print issue of District Fray. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Founder + artistic director of B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT; one of two winners of the inaugural Victor Shargai Leadership Award.
District Fray: What did winning an inaugural Victor Shargai Leadership Award mean to you?
Paige Hernandez: The award still blows my mind. It is a deep honor and a full circle moment because Victor was such a huge advocate and supporter of my work when he was alive. He was one of the first “yeses” I got in terms of investing and committing to [my work], which essentially led to the building of my company.
How do you combine your work as an educator, performer and artist?
They inform each other. I have to say my work as an educator completely parallels my work as an administrator. A lot of what I do involves education. So, I’m able to instantly apply and implement a lot of what I learn in the classroom, and through various trainings.
What’s the mission of your company?
B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT specializes in multi-generational and multicultural hip-hop theatre experiences. So, you can really [have] theatre pieces with anyone in the audience, ages 6 to 60. The work is sophisticated. It has education at its base. And it’s based in more of the old school roots of hip-hop: peace, love, unity and having fun.