Project Attica is a unique, art-centered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that promotes youth empowerment and social justice through art activities. The organization is composed of activists, lawyers, concerned citizens and students, who all believe in the role of art in transforming lives by serving as a medium to raise public awareness about social justice issues, such as the status of marginalized youth and the crisis of mass incarceration. We also work to strengthen communities through art projects aimed at combating prejudice and discrimination, as well as educating communities about their legal rights through Know-Your-Rights Workshops.
We have recently established partnerships with local organizations in Chiapas, Mexico and plan to conduct Artivism workshops in the community and contribute in the work to maintain indigenous cultural heritage in the face of growing violence and opposition. Since 2011, Project Attica has brought Artivism - a free, dynamic, visual art, interactive workshop to to students in NYC. Click here to see where our work has taken us. Held in middle schools, high schools and community organizations in New York City and abroad, Artivism provides participants with a space to create works of art by expressing their views about social justice issues on wearable canvases. Our costs are defrayed by grants and individual donations.
In order to bring Artivism to Chiapas, we started a Kickstarter campaign to help us raise funds for the trip. Please help us spread the word and help us reach our fundraising goal.
At the end of 2015 we aimed to take our workshop to Colombia for the first time ever. Since then we have gone to Monteria and Medellin with the artivism message. We have worked with other youth collectives who are working to empower their communities through the use of art interventions.
In Medellin, Colombia we partnered up with a not-for profit that engages youth through agriculture and hip-hop teaching them how to take over abandoned spaces to beautify and uplift their neighborhoods. Agroarte aims to use agriculture as a tool to create resistance and maintain the memory of the neighborhoods impacted by violence.
We want to take our workshop to Chiapas, Mexico where we are partnered up with a not-for profit organization that works to strengthen the cultural identity of groups and tribes in social transformation as well as in defense of their human rights.
As always, we want to take our workshop and be able to offer it free of cost so that we can provide shirts, paint, and stencils to use for the making of the shirts. We have often found that our workshop helps youth from all cultural backgrounds to help them express themselves, to heal and to find spaces and tools they can use to create conversations about the issues that they are passionate about.
Since the filming of the video in Medellin, many groups that we have worked with have gone on to use their creations in their non-violent rallies, marches and activities further spreading the artivist concept during the current political and social climate where the peace agreement has yet to be approved.
Our goal is to empower youth and communities in Chiapas, Mexico with the opportunity to have an art-based workshop where they will get to make and keep their own creations.
Risks and challenges
Among some of the risks that we anticipate is that our travel time is during the holiday season in Mexico. As a result, many groups and collectives might be closed for operations or their memberships dwindle during this time. However, we are prepared to engage the community at the street level even if the organizations are not capable of bringing out enough of their members. We have met similar challenges in our international workshops and we are capable and ready of working with the community meeting them where they are at.
Another challenge that we anticipate is the carrying over of the supplies from Mexico into Chiapas. However, we have found a way to use a lighter supply for our boards, which is often the heaviest material to carry around for the workshop. Using a lighter material allows us to be more mobile in the city commuting.
- (30 days)