Collaborative Projects

CoPublication with Women's Center for Creative Work

This primer maps Sarita's DIY PhD with interactive content, textimonios from the people changing everything, color images, cricial theory in ethnoecologies, Traditional Ecological Knowledges, US 3rd World Feminism and more. This Textbook is a copublication featuring and funding the Women's Center for Creative Work, Coco Press, Johanna Iraheta, Brujx Fuego, Raquel Lemus, Patty Denisse, Queen Hollins, & Olivia Chumacero

Decolonization Chamber & Paradigm Portal

Collaborative Project and Installation with champoy, this chamber features champoy's graphic paintings of late-stage capitalism on the exterior, and Sarita's dreamvisions for healing on the interior. This chamber was included in Middle Voice (as seen in this install shot), and is currently used in various manifestations by the Filipinx community in Los Angeles. We decolonize, then we re-indigenize.

e.i.m. Installation for Beyond the Pale

Olivia Chumacero and I created an installation for the Cypress College Art Gallery Show "Beyond the Pale," with California Native Flora, a painting of the Arroyo, and a woven tapestry by Olivia Chumacero. Gallery-goers heard the sounds and saw imagery from Chumacero's film: When Light Married Water, witnessed our collaborative Codice de Cambios, and were invited to a Native Seeds Quest workshop on campus.

Middle Voice Exhibition

Artists Olivia Chumacero, champoy, Diyan Bukobomba, iris y. hu, Nicanor Evangelista, Jr. and Sarita Dougherty inhabited Visitor Welcome Center in 2018 with a collaborative community exhibit and community programming to take us into the Middle Voice verb tense, the verb tense that transforms reality as words are uttered with intention. It is the language of incantations; weaving the old wisdoms with contemporary truths. Installation shot by Ruben Diaz.

Cosmology Mapping

Ongoing pedagogical practice to map the world we are cocreating. Center, then imagine the world that you deeply feel empowered, nurtured by, and one in return that you empower, nurture. Draft the visions of sustainable life on this abundant planet. We are shifting right now into the Ecocene.

DIY PhD Illuminated Manuscript

Co-Authored and Illustrated by David Whitaker and Sarita Dougherty, this testament to our learning shares collaborative imagery and poetry from the learning journey of the DIY PhD. Content complete in 2017 and Publication Set for 2020.


My partner Champoy and I are inviting community members to learn how to build an earth dome with us, in the style of CalEarth's superadobe structures. We are sourcing earth from the site where the dome is being constructed, processing it, and filling the bags which lay on top of each other to construct a dwelling that is fireproof, earthquake proof, hurricane proof, cool in the summer, and warm in the winters!

Residency with Olivia Chumacero at the Huntington

Olivia Chumacero and I are amongst 7 artists selected to create work based on one of the collections at The Huntington, through the Women's Center of Creative Work and /5 grant committee. We are overjoyed to be working with the native plants found in both cultivated and unmanaged areas; I am tending, making paintings, and Olivia is tending, making videos. Our collaborative exhibit will open there this Fall. Photo is a video still taken by Olivia Chumacero.

Woke Wombyn

Woke Wombyn is a collaborative art project to map the medicine and cosmologies of radical wombyn transforming themselves and current paradigm through plant, spirit and decolonizing medicine. Each participant is portraited by Sarita in inks and watercolors with their handle, the food and herbs resonating with them at this time, and the areas of their life they focus on for balance and personal bliss. The project is ongoing and evolving according to the conversations and situations of each collaborator. The first image featured here is Patty D. Guzman, "Woke Witch" on Instagram @getting.woke

D'Wata Puppet Squad

The D'Wata Puppet Squad is a collaborative of artists generating live performance with puppets, music and dance to entertain water protectors, protestors, and/or rallying advocates for wombyn's, water's, earth's, LGBTQ, immigrants' and all other rights. They originally appeared in December 2016 at the #NODAPL March and Rally in Downtown LA and will appear at various upcoming events this spring.

The Love in Our Belly

The Love in Our Belly  was a 2-person show at Visitor Welcome Center, conceived by Iris Y. Hu and David Bell to feature the work of Sarita Dougherty and artist laub in the memory of Emi Kuriyama. Shown here is an installation view of Sarita's banner and floor mat for marches and Moon Visioning, both of which have been activated in ceremony and protest. See more images from the show and read Iris' poem here.

Murals by Champrita

Sarita Dougherty and artist Champoy Lim collaborate on public artworks to inspire the public, transform worldviews and bring creative medicine to people and place. This mural, entitled, The Ancestors Returned with All their Medicine was painted in the summer of 2016 at The Compound in Baltimore, Maryland. The crow painting was already painted on the wall by a previous tenant. See more of Champoy's work at ​​

Lidagat Luna and the Birth Story

In 2016, Sarita Dougherty gave birth to her and Champoy Lim's baby, Lidagat Luna Dougherty Lim. Lida's birth and all of the medicine and synchronicity surrounding her mark the end of a 6 year visioning and new chapter in Sarita and Champoy's lives. Sarita wrote the birth story in five sections of the themes and medicine that brought the Luna to her fullness; White Rocks, The Pink Sheet, #3, The Deer, and The Moon. Contact Sarita Dougherty or the Visitor Welcome Center to order a copy.

Cura Tierra Cura

Cura Tierra Cura was a collective installation and performance at Human Resources, Los Angeles, on May 5th, 2016, as part of the Decolonize LA series. Cura Tierra Cura articulated critical and poetic views of the current dis*locate landscape in Los Angeles; spheres of influence giving voice to some and none to others. The evening generated dialogue with participants around gentrification, people's roles, how the land and its flora and fauna are affected, if a dialogue can exist between all parties, and facilitated vision-building for the future. This participatory installation and performance shared tools for healing while seeking balance.

Dream Space

Sarita Dougherty, Janie Olivas and Cynthia Rodriguez performed for the Winter Solstice, 2015, as Dreamspace. This soundbath and installation hosted a series of elemental vibrations to bathe and nourish the spirit.  They performed as part of a community performance and healing to support J de la Tierra transform into Tezcatlipoca, witness the dance of Joy Anderson and Johanna Iraheta, hosted by artist Sandra de la Loza.


C/S or Con/Safos by Rafa Esparza was a site-specific sculpture at the Bowtie Project. In 2014 Esparza and his father handmade 1500 adobe bricks for a performance Esparza did there. In a continued exploration of the site, Esparza used these bricks to build 2 intersecting adobe walls. Throughout the course of a year, graffiti artists, painters & sculptors were invited to design, paint, and build onto the surface of Con/Safos. Iris Yirei Hu & Sarita Dougherty were the first artists invited to paint the walls. Sarita's mural was called Las Palmas y sus Barbas, a meditation on the riparian ecology of the site and entities wielding power over there.

Nature's Farm Camp

Nature's Farm camp is a week-long, sleep away camp where kids step out of their every day and immerse themselves in nature – growing, cooking, making, building and exploring, created by Tim Magner and Elena Marre.  Campers do with their hands, head and heart. In the process they discover more about life and themselves, all while having a blast with new friends in the great outdoors. Sarita Dougherty and Champoy Lim taught site-specific art and woodworking for the camp in 2015 on Nance Klehm's rehabilitating meadow and wetlands habitat.


In 2014, David Whitaker and Sarita started a DIY PhD for themselves, desiring a rigorous and creative higher education program without the material and disciplinary constraints of an institution. This way of learning is an alternative to Western institutional education that separates mind and body. DIY Education can incorporate ancestral, intuitive, spiritual, earth-based, and body-centered ways of knowing. Sarita and David have facilitated courses for new cohorts, inspired a DIY MFA Bay Area, and created an illuminated manuscript based on what they learned. More information here.

The Postnational Department of Transcultural Youth

The Postnational Department of Transcultural Youth is the degree-granting department for Sarita Dougherty's DIY PhD. Started in 2012, this creative think tank sponsors projects and generates inspiring pedagogies for re-imagining a decolonized, pluralistic and radically sustainable future. Email [email protected] for more information.

Mountain Medicine for the Los Angeles Floodplain

In the summer of 2014, Sarita created a traveling art exhibit and workshop series called Mountain Medicine for the Los Angeles Floodplain. The mobile show visited the Santa Monica Museum of Art; the Redpath Museum in Montreal, Canada; Body Actualized Studio in Brooklyn, New York; The Compound in Baltimore, Maryland; and The Spot in Boyle Heights; East Los Angeles. The show's programming included making mandalas with Native Plants, a seed exchange, a video screening and community healing, and a talk about painting ethnoecology.

Urban Habitat

Sarita and now her partner Champoy Lim are continually learning how to live with a more sustainable footprint on Pachamama, or the Earth. We study and practice water conservation systems, composting, native gardening, plant medicine, green building, semi-permanent dwellings, and passive solar energy. The habitat becomes the site of study and muse for Sarita's portraits of place.

Clases sin Paredes

While at Escuela Popular in San Jose, Sarita began teaching extracurricular outdoors programs for grades K-8, in order to bring the urban students into nature for creative and academic learning. These monthly trips were collaborations with the classroom teachers, as well as with the California Native Plant Foundation, who also funded Clases sin Paredes to install a native garden and water-catchment rain garden on the School's campus to learn about droughts, plant systems, and wildlife conservation. The science classes additionally held classes there.

Español a través del Arte

Escuela Popular, a critical-pedagogy learning institution for first and second-general ESL learners in San Jose, California, hired Sarita to teach Español a través del Arte, a course for Middle School Students that would teach written and spoken Spanish using Visual Art. Sarita taught there from 2012-2013.

The Circle inside the Square

Sarita Dougherty's UCLA Thesis exhibit at the New White Gallery was called "The Circle Inside the Square," an installation to transform the institutional white box and its meanings into a decolonized space full of texture, color, story-telling, and ethnoecology. The installation's center became a teaching circle with mats for participants to sit on and hosted a community seed exchange as well as a Critical Pedagogy and Dismantling Racism workshop co-taught by Randi Burley for UCLA Graduate students.

Red Hawk Sighting

In Spring 2013, the Los Angeles State Historic Park, under Superintendant Sean Woods, razed Dolphin totems erected in ceremony by the Tongva community, indigenous to LA, uprooted a native forest & destroyed 2 acres of native habitat- with pollinators, bird, reptile & endangered plant life- to remake a manicured and gentrifying version of their 11 acre park. Community members responded to the planned devastation of this sacred site by interrupting the "ground-breaking" for the new park in a performance of the Red Hawk, circling and mourning the land and its ecosystem.

En el Tiempo de la Luna

Sarita Dougherty, Zena Zendejas, and Cynthia Rodriguez created original music and filmed En El Tiempo de la Luna, a 30-minute digital film documenting their personal and collective journeys into decolonizing their minds, bodies, and experiences in Los Angeles. You can see the video here .


In 2013, Sarita Dougherty and Johanna Iraheta created a mini-yurt by harvesting local bamboo, cutting it and securing it to create a ​travelling intentional space for community use. It has been "Yangna," a site to enter and remember the indigenous place that is now called Los Angeles and meditate on the preservation of a native garden and Tongva totems that were slated for destruction; a shade-spot for dialogue with the LA Rooted Summer Camp; and an installation for community members to place testimonies about displacement and gentrification.

Nepantla Performance

In 2011 at the May Day/ Immigrant Rights parade and rally in Los Angeles, Sarita Dougherty and Zena Zendejas found themselves in between the sanctioned Latino/a Democrat Party-led march, and the Zapatista-Worker's Union-led march, performing their lived experience of Nepantla, or the space in-between. Nepantla is a concept created by author Gloria Anzaldua, as the experience of living in two worlds at once, or neither. Sarita and Zena dressed up as their colonial and indigenous selves, representing Spain with Bolivia and Mexico, respectively. They marched for Pachamama, or Mother Earth.

Everything is Medicine

In 2010, Olivia Chumacero began teaching her philosophy, Everything is Medicine, to groups of eager students in downtown Los Angeles at a Native Garden in the Anabolic Monument, an art project of Lauren Bon. Chumacero taught the course with hands-on tending to and use of native plants for food, medicine, and culture. Though the garden is no longer there, its seeds and its teachings live on in her over 200 students and continue in her site-specific workshops today. See for more information.

Art and Nature Quarterly Workshops

Art and Nature is an Artist Collective who taught at sites of nature in the city; both wild and tended to. Started in 2010 by Sarita Dougherty and David Whitaker, the collective grew to include artists Katie Bachler, Cynthia Rodriguez, Beatriz Rodriguez, Brittany Green, Randi Burley, Gerardo Monterrubio, Yajaira Villareal, Eugene Lopez, Karla Aguiniga, and more, many of whom got their first teaching experience with the collective. Art and Nature's free workshops for youth taught site-specific visual, performance and folk art forms as well as permaculture, native gardening, and design. We served over 900 youth.

Art and Nature Summer Camps

The Art and Nature collective taught three summer camps, in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Each camp was a three-day collaboration with ​youTHink and was creatively installed each day at a natural site in Los Angeles. The youth created and learned during the three days while eating healthy meals prepared by chef Frances Garrettson. The camps culminated in an art exhibit and public celebration.

Spacial Reconstruction

In this series of artist take-overs of the now closed Found Gallery in Los Angeles, California, Sarita recreated her experience of living in Mexico City, with a Chapultapec Park Castle recreation, a bedroom of dreamlike video and altar installations with Susannah Simpon, and a living room and performance space with recordings and a live show during the opening in August 2008.

Pinche Gringo and the Lovely Sarita

One man band Joshua Johnson plus Sarita on vocals and percussion. Pinche Gringo and the Lovely Sarita played in Mexico City with Bloodshot Bill, forming The Half-ways, and toured across the Eastern, New England and Southern States between 2006 and 2009. "Space Girl" was the duo's hit, a cover of an early American Folk song.

Los Artistas

In 2004, Sarita started an arts program for bilingual and bicultural youth at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina, called Los Artistas. Los Artistas combined critical pedagogy, art education, and art therapy to generate a creative community of first-generation Middle and High School students from Mexico living in North Carolina. With Teaching Assistants Katie Almirall and Rolando Cerda, our weekly program generated art shows and murals. In 2007 while living in Greensboro, North Carolina, Sarita started a second chapter of Los Artistas at The Center for Visual Artists, which continues today.