Public Art Take Back! #eglestonus

The fall component of Public Art Take Back! will engage youth in creating self-directed, multi-12391289_10102532156739391_6009650597266051336_n

media performative public cultural plans to address root causes of gentrification and how these manifest in Egleston Square. Youth will workshop in small groups where we, as teaching artists and cultural workers, will serve as facilitators. To distill the intersectionality of struggles that youth, their families and neighbors experience, the process will begin with discussion, research and analysis of personal, neighborhood and city history, through the lens of the artist-citizen.

The workshops will engage various media as called for by the youth-led projects, and we can offer skill building around a variety of these. Each group will vision, plan, create and present a cultural plan: a model of a functional public art object reclaiming public sites identified by youth as requiring attention and healing; an interactive performative intervention that presents the artifact in community declaring the site as a safer space and holding all stakeholders accountable; and an action plan by which youth apply their agency as artist-citizens to effectpatb change through participation with the people of and visitors to the neighborhood.

As adult facilitators, we are coming in with the following guiding question as a starting point:

“Within the oppressive structure of white supremacist capitalism, how do communities build stability?”

Following the self-directed model and therefore without imposing this question on the youth, we will facilitate a question-focused technique through which, youth will pose their own questions, building trust in their own critical questioning skills and practicing problem solving and interpretation.

12196047_10102446898747091_4660631508929069063_nIt is important for us as lead artists/ culture workers that the work presented is directed by our youth, reflective of their experiences and unique world views: we firmly believe youth have the solutions for their community and through this facilitation process we hope to affirm this.

It is important for Urbano Project, the Egleston Square community at large, education administrators and city officials to witness the incredible resilience of Boston’s youth and the contributions youth leaders are making their communities every day. It is important for our youth to believe in their capacity to be change agents and transform their communities into livable spaces in face of harsh realities set up by systemic and ageist disparities.