Malesha Jessie Taylor is a consultant, artist, producer and educator who recently delivered a talk and performance at TEDx Chula Vista and is currently on faculty at Cal State San Marcos. Artistically, her work spans from traditional opera houses, concert halls and into social practice. Her engagements include solo performances with the Boston Pops Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. Malesha performed with Los Angeles Opera covering the role of Tebaldo in Don Carlo and Javotte in Manon. She made her debut with the company as Annie in Porgy and Bess and followed as Cercatrice in William Freidkin and Woody Allen's productions of Il Trittico: Suor Angelica. She also played the role of Annie in Porgy and Bess in the Francesca Zambello filmed production with San Francisco Opera, as seen on PBS. Mrs. Taylor has worked with notable conductors: John Mauceri, Dean Williamson, John DeMain, John Alexander, Keith Lockhart and Placido Domingo and has also captivated audiences throughout Europe in the title role of Bess in Porgy and Bess. In 2010, Malesha staged impromptu performances in bodegas, laundromats, buses and barbershops in Brooklyn, NY. Her performances and the resulting interactions with spectators, collectively named Guerrilla Opera, were apart of the exhibition, Cultural Fluency: Engagements with Contemporary Brooklyn at BRIC Arts (Brooklyn Information and Culture). "Guerrilla Opera" was duplicated in Southeast San Diego and was presented by the San Diego Museum of Man in October 2016.
Additionally, Malesha has worked in arts education and non-profit arts administration for over a decade and was a Visiting Professor of Music at Scripps College- The Claremont Colleges. She has held consulting and leadership positions with H.O.L.A. Heart of Los Angeles, LAUSD Woodcraft Rangers, numerous youth residential facilities, Burbank School District's Rock the Classroom, the City University of New York: Creative Arts Team and the Alumni Association of the University of Southern California. She has also been a music educator and general education teacher at various schools throughout Los Angeles County and New York City.
Combining the rich experiences of the stage, education, arts administration and community outreach, Malesha seeks to bridge the gap between artists and the community by providing opportunities for transdisciplinary dialogue, grassroots outreach, and unconventional collaborations. After becoming a mother, Malesha intensified her focus on the politics of cultural production, essentially asking the Hamilton question,“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” Marginalized communities - communities of color, women, and youth - struggle to find their stories reflected in the arts, in the media, and in society at large. Malesha helps share the stories of this new majority in her role as a bridge-builder between artists, educators, demographers, marketers, and business leaders. She has become a thought leader in using creativity to address inequity, and using art as a tool for activism. Malesha has published about issues of equity and diversity within the arts sector. Her essay on diversity and community engagement was published by HowlRound and she was also a panelist at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ArtChangeUS: REMAP, which is apart of the national platform, Arts in a Changing America. She is currently engaged with the San Diego Opera and the North Coast Symphony.