this project was created.
I was always an awkward, quirky, opinionated child. So growing up in South LA, was interesting to say the least because my upbringings were a blend of constant run-ins with my parents and teachers for purposefully failing classes. All I wanted to do was read about art and create; whether it were drawings, paintings or weird aluminum foil sculptures. As much as my parents fostered my love for art and bought materials whenever they could, their limited knowledge of local programming that was either virtually non-existent in our neighborhood, teachers were not aware of local resources, or they were costly. Paired with their limited English, this did not allow for any arts programming to happen in my life and it wasn't like they didn't try.
My only art class was during Junior year in high school and as exciting as this class was for me, no matter how much I loved it, I found this to be unacceptable. So when I struggled to find colleges that were a right fit for me, now an awkward, quirky, opinionated angsty teen; Art School was the perfect fit. However, I attended a College- Ready Charter Network where "Art School" wasn't considered to be a real College or University by most educators. This line of thinking made it virtually impossible for me, I had support from few teachers, whom I am grateful for everyday and it was a hassle getting my parents on board with the idea.
During my time as an undergrad, I was fortunate enough to work with local high school students in the LA area. Here I saw the same look on their faces that I once had and through conversations about how to talk with our parents about pursuing art, their desire to attend other art classes I realized they felt alone in the same way I once did. Besides this one class that year, once a week that was all the art they received and I found that to be unacceptable.
My instinct was to then teach. To create environments for students where I can foster their creativity, even if it's once a week. However, I quickly felt that wasn't enough. Providing field trip opportunities and exposure to art galleries and museums was my next task, but even then, you guessed it, a trip or two a year (as much as I love them) I felt was unacceptable as well because I couldn't take the whole school.
So I started asking myself how could I provide educators, students and their parents with something I always wished I had. Resource to locations, books, activities, engaging activities during class time that incorporated the arts, so all the other awkward, quirky, opinionated and perhaps angsty, (now iPhone lovin', social media obsessed) children like myself at their age, can have access to a well rounded equitable arts education; both in and out of school.