Still We Rise

Teaching Artist: Nora Valdez


Still We Rise is a youth project that focuses on art-making as an act of healing, revolving around themes of personal resilience and sustainability.

“At Urbano when you do an installation, everyone understands—you can put the process, concept, and visuals together—and everyone can pitch in because everyone here is an artist,” says Valdez.  “The students have incredible talent; they are motivated and have the knowledge to go a little deeper. The students are young artists, and the staff are artists; it’s a whole team of collaborators.”  

As artist in residence since April 10, Valdez has been leading a ten-week class in the studio at Urbano, working with youth artists on Still We Rise, an installation with an original musical track. Many local youth have been subjected to various kinds of violence including domestic, bullying, psychological, and the violence of discrimination. Through writing, drawing, and 3D art-making, Valdez and students are exploring times of strength and healing, discovering their own resiliency in the process.

“Working in a new musical style got me thinking big, outside the bubble,” said youth artist Vinny Alves, who created the new track with mentorship from local composer Alexander Barsov.