R.R. Tavárez is an artist, writer and speaker local to Grand Rapids, MI. He is an Afro-Latino of Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage, and proudly part of the Queer community. To his audience, he delivers a unique intersection of writing, visual art, and public speaking that reflect on race, gender, queerness, social justice, faith and doubt.
Tavárez’s journey into the arts and writing began as a youth, as he initially discovered his gift for communication in both mediums. As he developed these abilities, his sensibilities to social inequities also developed, largely shaped by dwelling in community spaces home to immigrant and African-American residents of the city. With his family deeply involved in their church and faith, his calling became clear in his life as he sought ways to bridge social action with a life of faith and devotion.
Seeing the needs for leadership skills and development in his community, Tavárez pursued an education that would allow him to invest those needed resources back into his neighborhood, and empowering others to do the same. After graduating high school, he went on to earn an Associate of Arts in Business Administration at Grand Rapids Community College. Following that, he earned a dual undergraduate degree at Kuyper College in Bible and International Business and Marketing, with a minor in Communications. Finally, he acquired an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary with a concentration in Missions.
Today, Tavárez writes poetry, essays, and short fiction. As a multi-disciplinary visual artist, he uses photography, paint, charcoal, and graphite pencil as extension of his storytelling. He is recognized preacher, often bringing his storytelling methods to bear from the Sunday morning pulpit. As a reverend, he is a bivocational pastor, leading a non-profit called New City Neighbors as its Executive Director, while pastoring En Vivo Church, a Queer-affirming church plant he founded in 2016. He is a member of Grand Valley Artists and an artist with ArtXchangeGR. His creative tools of choice are pencil and paper in every area of his professional work.
Journey to the Artist page to peruse and shop through the art gallery. Visit the Writer and Published Works pages to read through selected writing pieces. Interested in having R.R. Tavárez visit as a preacher or speaker? Visit the Speaker page for more information.
*Writing and opinions expressed on this site belong to R.R. Tavárez alone, and do not reflect the stance or opinions of or any other organization of which he is a part.