top of page

Theater: a Tool for Dialogue, Inquiry, Action & Change. 

Workshop Facilitator     Activist      Deviser     Arts Educator 

Grant Winner AWARDED  
2018 Catalyst Initiative by The Center for Performance & Civic Practice

Spent 6 months training worker members of the Chicago Workers Collaborative in Theater of the Oppressed Technique & activating communities with stories of worker rights violations and gender violence

Jasmin was Awarded a 2020-2022 LAB FELLOWSHIP

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University announced the second cohort of its Lab Fellows program. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the 18-month residency brings together emerging theatre artists, administrators, and scholars from around the world who embody the program’s mission to humanize global politics through performance. These 10 Fellows were selected from 190 applicants fro 60 different countries. 

Working with young people her bridge building work focuses on stories of identity and social justice.

Arts Educator  & Activist         Over the past 15 years Jasmin has taught, directed and devised with community members, adults and youth throughout the city for WorkrsTEATRO (Co-FOunder), Workers Resistance Theater (Co-Founder), Lookingglass Theater, Silk Road Theater Project, Adventure Stage Chicago, Lifeline Theater, Chase Elementary and at Carpenter Fine Arts, to name a few.


YOUTH ADVOCACY WORK: In 2019 she facilitated creative youth leaders from across Chicago's city and neighborhoods and organizations to create the 2019 Youth Speak: RIGHTS OF CHICAGOS'S CREATIVE LEADERS. This was in partnership with Chicago Park District's  Arts & Culture Culture Unit, led be Meida McNeil, and youth leaders from Albany Park Theater Project, Free Street Theater, Kumba Lynx, Move Me Soul, YOUMedia, Columbus Park  Inferno Youth Media Team, Free Spirit Media & the adults who support their learning, growing  and thriving. Our gatherings were held at Chicago Parks across the city. 


CIVIC ARTS ENGAGEMENT WORK: Using Theater of the Oppressed she uses the tool of theater for social justice work. With Pastor Phil Jackson she Co-Founded Ambassadors for a United Lawndale; working towards racial reconciliation between African American and Latino Youth on the SW side of the city. Supported by The MacArthur Foundation she traveled with 20 students to Mexico to learn about the African presence in Mexico.


SERVICE: She served on the Board of The Pedadogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO). and was the Lead Organizer of the 2011 International PTO Conference held in Chicago. Along with her students, recipient of the 2010 Public Square (Illinois Humanities Council) Award Art Urges, Art Voyages – Looking for Democracy Film Contest. Using her specialization in Creative Drama Jasmin has been teaching children, parents and educators (across the ages 0-100) of the many literacy benefits that can be experienced in bringing stories to life.

To Watch Cue Video to 00:44

Open PDF to see Timeline
of collaboration with
Chicago Workers Collaborative



Excerpt from Shanti Elliott's book,

"Teaching and Learning on the Verge: Democratic Education in America"      Teachers College Press, 2015


In this final chapter, my focus is on the people who hold the space for democratic work, in individual schools, in policymaking, and in resistance movements. In each of the preceding chapters we encountered people who hold this space, who illustrate the manifold ways conditions can be created to affirm human dignity and enable collective powers to bloom. Like Jasmin Cardenas, who encourages students and teachers to explore how power impacts identity and relationships with their bodies and voices, they are storytellers.


Democratic educators inside and outside of classrooms hold space for young people, for the power and insight they bring to the world. They have to be deft and resourceful in holding this space - it is far more active work than conventional teaching.  

Resume CV


Workers' Theater



February 2022 - Global Newspaper Theater Workshop; Drama Therapy, Concordia University, Quebec, Canada. Guest Artist

February 2021 - Global Newspaper Theater Workshop; University of Regina, Canada; Theater Dept. Course: Theater.Society.Change: Guest Artist

April 2020 - The Urgency of Now: Theater in a Time of Crisis; Wheaton College, IL  Guest Artist Visit to Theater Arts Department: Theater and Culture Course: focusing on civic engagement and the arts. 

February 2020 - MLK King Day Festival; Workshop: My Voice, My Choice, My Power. Interactive family workshops

October 2, 2017 - Theater of the Oppressed to fight Gender Violence. Collective Mujer. Workshop in Español
September 18, 2017   - Theater of the Oppressed to combat Gender Violence. Chicago Workers Collaborative. Español 
April 25, 2017 - Confabulation 2017, Northlands Storytelling Conference
3-Hr Intensive- Story Work for Social Justice: An Intro to Theater of the Oppressed
April 1, 2017 - Teachers Inquiry Project - Theater of the Oppressed
bottom of page