sarah town

Sarah Town

Sarah joined Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) in 2017. She is passionate about building networks, developing leadership, and promoting diversity and inclusion to enhance equity and human dignity throughout the hemisphere. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, including a year abroad at the Universidade de São Paulo and the Núcleo de Estudos da Violência, before entering the nonprofit sector. There, she worked with such organizations as Amnesty International, the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), and San Francisco’s Community Housing Partnership (CHP), eventually shifting her focus to arts education. She returned to the academic world to complete graduate work in music, earning an M.A. (City College of New York) and a Ph.D. along with a Certificate in Latin American Studies (Princeton University).

With FOR’s Task Force on Latin America and the Caribbean, Sarah organized speaking tours, co-wrote and edited the organizational newsletter, and developed significant new projects in Mexico and Colombia, leading a delegation to visit partner organizations in Mexico and co-authoring an article about their work for NACLA Report on the Americas. Shifting focus to local justice issues, she joined CHP, where she designed and ran a range of vocational trainings for formerly homeless tenants, winning a staff prize for creative service. As a teaching artist, Sarah has taught Cuban and Brazilian music and movement at schools, after school programs and community centers, working frequently with bilingual populations and populations with disabilities. An accomplished capoeirista, dancer and musician, she continues to train, teach and perform with her local arts communities.

Sarah has published on topics related to U.S.-Latin American relations, local sustainability projects in Latin America, and most recently, Cuban popular dance culture and film. As a scholar, she has presented papers before the American Musicological Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for Dance History Scholars, and the Latin American Studies Association, and has received awards from the Latin American and Caribbean Studies section of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Díaz Ayala Collection at Florida International University, Princeton University, and City College of New York. Her most recent publications address the role of social dance in the Cuban revolution as depicted in short documentaries and the rhythmic and compositional experimentations of New York-based timba musicians.