2022 Member Profile: Mayu Molina Lehmann

Mayu Molina Lehmann recently wrote, produced and staged a musical, “Monarch: A Mexican-American Musical,” which successfully premiered in Los Angeles in March 2022, and recounts the life and challenges of undocumented Immigrants.  Over 10 years ago, Mayu was visiting her brother, a musician in New York City, and as they scanned all the shows they might attend, she wondered why there weren’t any for Hispanics.  Mayu quickly added, this was before “In the Heights.”  Moreover, when Hispanics were featured in performances, they were often typecast as the bad guys.  She and her brother wanted to create a play with Hispanic heroes.

Mayu has been involved with immigrant, social justice and structural inequity issues her entire professional life beginning as a high school teacher of Spanish literature to indigenous and underprivileged students in San Cristobal, Mexico, then working for the Organization of American States (OAS) and most recently for ContextGlobal coordinating interpretation services in over 40 languages in the private and public sectors including in the District of Columbia’s Public Schools.  She is fluent in Spanish, French and English and says that language facility goes beyond fluency to how to better understand other cultures and the way the “world works.”  Mayu hopes that her two daughters, ages 10 and 12, will be “global citizens” and feels fortunate to have a family rich in diversity and interest.

Mayu learned of Impact100 DC through her friend Analya Cespedes (reveal: my wonderful daughter-in-law) and was immediately attracted by the fact that it was founded and run by diverse women with a mission solidly centered on equity. She noted that while she has worked with many non-profits, she is very interested in learning more about the funding side of non-profit work so critical for realizing goals. As a fellow of Impact100 DC, she is looking forward to helping with outreach to the Hispanic community and said she is both happy and honored to be working with such “good people.”

The pandemic was challenging with children at home and work abruptly ending with the closing of schools, but it also presented an opportunity, a “sacred pause” during which Mayu seized the time to finish the musical with her brother after ten years in the making.  It was a tremendous scramble to get the show launched in LA and is a full-time, determined effort to bring it to other audiences.  “Monarch: A Mexican American Musical” in English will come to the Creative Cauldron in Falls Church, VA as its opening musical for its 23-24 Season.  I cannot wait to see it!

Membership profile by Impact100 DC member Joan de Pontet