Madame Dolores is a global majority, multi-platform cross-disciplinary artist, based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who employs sound, vision, text, and performance as storytelling tools to create radical, sometimes controversial, artistic experiences and cultural engagements. She utilizes her art to confront and excavate the root of societal ills.
“The question of human cruelty is one that Christiane Dolores has explored through much of her art over the years, utilizing different mediums to really get at the root of societal ills like racism and white supremacy. And these questions have been a part of Dolores’ personal narrative since she was a young child. With a mother from Germany and a father from Pittsburgh, Dolores grew up in a family who were under a lot of scrutiny. She describes being called both the N-word and a “honky” and asking herself, “How does this happen?”-dani janae
Her classical training in art began at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Tyler School of Art and Lehrer Seminar in Switzerland. Wanting her work to be informed outside the halls of western centered academia and instead by real life experiences and diverse communities, she opted to continue her “training” in creativity on the road.
With several friends, she led a vagabond life over the course of five years, first working at an Alaskan Fishery in St. Petersburg, to become a baker at an Upstate Farm, traveling the Southwest and living out of her Volvo deep in the desert. Satisfying her “wanderlust” she desired to plant her roots and become a part of an Arts community, she returned home to Pittsburgh. She became a member of Women of Visions, created and co-ran Sun Crumbs, a transcultural arts non-profit, performed poetry, wrote plays, curated exhibitions, and sang in multiple music projects.
All that came to a screeching halt when she was diagnosed with ME/CFS and her Doctor instructed her to stop all activities and rest. It was at this time that she shifted course and began a career as an Arts Administrator at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council; “an artist in the service of other Artists”. All the while, relearning how to rebuild her arts practice with these new limitations and disabilities.
She would spend the next 15 years developing programs and services for artists such as the Art on the Walls program, the Teaching ArtistInitiative, Women in the Arts network, the Pittsburgh chapter of Network for Arts Administrators of Color, the Pittsburgh Artist Resources website, the Emergency Fund for Artists, which was critical during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She presently works part time as the Technical Arts and Culture assistant at the Pittsburgh International Airport.
In 2021, she began 6 month Artist-in-Residency at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in collaboration with BOOM concepts, became a member of Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the City of Pittsburgh's Art Commission and Grantmakers in the Arts. She is the founding member of the #notwhite collective, a group of 13 women artists whose mission is to use non-individualistic, multi-disciplinary art to make our stories visible as we relate, connect, and belong to the Global Majority. She received the Pittsburgh Business Times Women First award in 2017. Commissioned by the The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to create a song and lead Pittsburgh’s inaugural Complaints Choir, during the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival in 2014. She is the winner of a 2010 August Wilson Center Fellowship; received a grant in 2011, from Advancing the Black Arts to market her second solo release, Amor Fati; a 2007 honoree at the New Hazlett Theatre “Celebrating Women in the Arts; a 2003 winner of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship for World/Jazz/Blues musical composition; and a 2002 Pittsburgh Magazine “40 under 40” award winner. She received funding from Sprout for two MiniM Music Festivals for the Blues and Jazz genres and for “Listen to This”, featuring poetess, Ursula Rucker; a commission from Pittsburgh Foundation to write her first play, Saffronia; funding from Multi-Cultural Arts Initiative to produce Saffronia: the Mulatto Slave, which came in 2nd place at the Trinidad Theater Festival, in 2016.