Public Art for Social Change Young Artists' Collective
The Collective identified violence and the root causes of prejudice in urban communities as issues of key importance for their work. Teens and their adult partners engaged in extensive group discussions of personal experiences of violence and prejudice, perceptions of the boundaries or borders that separate communities, and the root causes of violence. From these conversations a consensus emerged that much community violence involving young people stems from prejudice and an inability to communicate. Teens' work in the Collective focused on drawing attention to the prejudice and assumptions that can underlie social interactions, providing opportunities for audience members to share their secrets and communicate though artistic participation.
In the spring of 2011 the Collective created Spill the Beans for Urbano's 2011 public youth arts showcase. This interactive installation and performance addressed the power of secrets and information as tools that can either empower or destabilize communities. The Collective also initiated Urbano's ongoing partnership with Mexican artist Pedro Reyes' Palas por Pistolas/ Shovels for Guns project, bringing the Palas to the Massachusetts State House for Urbano's participation in the 2011 annual Violence Transformed exhibition and performance series.