Represent: Using Art to create Change

Agustin – Represent: Using Art to create Change

Date grant awarded: March 2019

Agustin Barajas seeks to address the lack of access to diverse art workshops, tools, and materials for students in Oakland, California. In response to this, we created this project for students to gain access and engage in the ability to utilize art as an indispensable tool and resource to express themselves. Students will develop the ability to use different art mediums and modalities to create art that integrates social justice issues as well as to further their art skills and understanding.

This work is important to the team because it is their mission is to keep the momentum of artivism and expression through art with the students we serve, but it is difficult at times when they lack the resources to do so. The goal is to provide all of the youth we serve with a diverse foundational artistic skill sets and expose them to different tools, surfaces, and methodologies so that they increase their artistic opportunities. There are countless art styles and each one can be a tool that can be used to express the desire for social change.

The initial TPP seed grant was important as it allowed them to merge restorative practices and art healing, with the goal to create a mural that we could paint as a group. The grant allowed students to be exposed to different art tools and materials, not just acrylic paint and brush, but aerosol, airbrush, and more. Overall, because of the grant, students were able to learn and develop art skills and techniques in order cultivate a practitioner level status while striving to obtain a mastery level of their desired art medium or form.

Receiving an increased follow-up award allows us to have a greater impact, in terms of participant enrollment, visibility, and collaboration with other community student-led clubs. “It allows us to create a space that will integrate students ideas and expression in multiple community displays. Through the grant, our work will grow from a group mural to curated art demonstrations, with all art created by students. This will create hands-on opportunities that support youth in using art as a form of activism, and give an outlet for positive, creative expression to heal, inspire and enlighten.”

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