PUBLIC ART TAKE BACK! 2
Loreto Paz Ansaldo
This spring, we built upon our work from the fall term and continued to ask the question: “How can youth be agents of change?” The youth artists believed in cultivating love, resilience and activation to resist adversity and build the communities they envision. Expanding upon discussions about stakeholders and “why do we bother?,” the youth artists developed their outdoor public art event as a way to use participatory arts to address themes of most concern to them: Violence, Taking care of children, Adults learning to play again, Affordable housing, Getting to know our neighbors, Cleaning our streets.
The youth artists invited friends, family and neighbors to engage in interactive art activities. These activities centered around specific skills the youth artists learned with the teaching artists: Percussion-based music exploring unconventional objects with Reyna; and movement, theater, Kalaripayattu (an ancient martial art), healing and meditation with Pradhuman. The youth artists also led the entire event production process, facilitated by Loreto. The youth artists explored issues around and carried out the following: goal setting and timelines; outreach and marketing (including writing copy, designing a flyer, creating a social media strategy and securing appearances on local television and radio); location search and selection; choosing and obtaining food; and identifying other important aspects of the event to ensure their goals were met and themes addressed, such as including an open mic, an opportunity for making a group art product and community building games.
This project addressed Urbano’s current theme of “The Commons: Space, Place & Public” by centering on the youth artists to define for themselves how they fit in and engage their local community. In their own words: