We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlene Adams and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Charlene, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
I would like to be remembered for reclaiming heritage through art and craftsmanship.

By understanding and studying my personal histories, acknowledging the profound richness of my own cross-culturalism, and reflecting on that, I create.

I believe in creating something accessible for everyone, for the visibility and preservation of culture.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I am an American-Bolivian artist whose interest lies in intersecting the two through interactive education and exposure. My art is rooted in Bolivian culture but expanded by my experience of being American.
I create functional products inspired by my heritage.

I am the creator of “Bolivianita Gloss” and “Creama Amazónica” which focus on Bolivian themes. I also co-created a shoe “Nike by you’ that was limited edition based on my Amazonian heritage.

I am the curator and founder of the “American Bolivian Collective” focusing on the Bolivian diaspora through female-identifying Bolivian American eyes.

The biggest part of my journey is growing up in a place that lacked representation of who I am. I resolved that I have to be the one to know the information and present it. I am always asking myself, how do I show this in a way where people can come to not only understand but experience this culture.

Right to Left: Jean Marc, My mother Janett Adams, Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma, Colonel, Driver

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I enjoy exploring the Hsi Lai Temple. It’s the largest Buddhist temple in the western hemisphere. This area is densely populated with an amazing selection of food. It’s a great area if you’re a foodie! Also, Schabarum Park is wonderful for hiking, and horseback riding.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mother is my biggest support.

She has an impressive journey from the Amazon of Bolivia, where she is from. She saw her 11-year-old sister die because of the lack of resources. Which lead her to move to the capital, La Paz. There she was mentored by a father-like French man who owned mines in Bolivia. He paid for her education, so she understands multiple languages. She got a job at an annex to the US embassy, already speaking English. She was surrounded by socialites, journalists, royals, and politicians all when she was a teen in the 80s in Bolivia.
In the US she created one of the first bilingual magazines in the southern NC/SC area. She created one of the first and only Latina scholarship pageants as well as bilingual radio stations in southeastern North Carolina.

I saw how important visibility and community were through her actions.

Website: https://charleneart.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charlene.charlene.charlene/

Other: American Bolivian Collective: https://americanboliviancollective.com/ Bolivianita Gloss: https://bolivianitagloss.com/ Crema Amazónica: https://birdandtale.com/collections/apothecary/products/crema-amazonica-plant-based-body-butter

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.