Michelle Colón, known artistically as Malentina, is a singer-songwriter, stage and film actress, producer and writer from Ponce, Puerto Rico. She completed her bachelor’s degree in interior design at Louisiana State University in 2013 and has lived in Lafayette, Louisiana ever since. Lafayette, renowned for its cultural celebration, inspired Michelle to dig into her own culture. In seeking connection with local Latin communities in her area, she found that bridging cultures was harder than she expected. This new perspective has fueled a life-changing passion to become a performing artist to highlight her culture in her region, and also to inspire more local Latin artists to participate in the local performance scene. Her published works include an EP titled “Para Tí” which is available on all major platforms and a self-produced visual album of the same title now available to stream on YouTube.
Who makes up your art circle?
Most of my friends makeup my art circle but special recognition should go to: My partner, Jacob; My sister Nicole in Puerto Rico; Josh LeBlanc who is my music producer and friend.
How do you expand your art circle?
Through collaboration! Inviting people to join a project or working on someone else’s project. It’s one of my favorite things. All my best projects were the result of multiple minds working together.
What value do you see in having a creative community?
It would be nearly impossible to pursue my artistic career without a community. I don’t take that for granted whatsoever. With the help of the community my vision goes farther, my understanding expands and I’m encouraged to try things I otherwise wouldn’t on my own.
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
I’m not sure how contribute to the community but I do love when I can support my friends to help me make my own films. We get to do non-commercial or traditional work which requires a lot of creative thinking and pushing to make the best of whatever resources and tools we have available. I’ve seen real magic be realized amongst us so I don’t think much about what I’m contributing but instead, I think of what I can get to do with the community.