Thanks to a recent grant from the California Endowment through the Race Forward/Government Alliance for Race and Equity’s Innovation and Implementation Fund, Metro Art has piloted a new project titled Nos Vemos/We See Us. Nos Vemos will support and reflect cultural expression in the diverse neighborhoods of Southeast LA (SELA) in anticipation of future transportation investments.
Metro commissioned artists Melina Aguilar, David and Alejandra Martinez, Billy Montenegro and Albert Orozco through a competitive open call process. Their selection was recommended by an evaluation team of SELA-based arts professionals. This same group also gave the project series its title: Nos Vemos/We See Us. The title honors the spirit of self-representation that is built into each of the four arts-based community engagement projects.
Later this summer and fall, the artists will lead hands-on activities designed to engage the communities of SELA.
Here’s a quick overview of the four project approaches:
- Melina Aguilar will lead jewelry-making activities that highlight local landmarks and invite participants to share their own connections to symbols and landmarks of SELA.
- David and Alejandra Martinez will facilitate story-sharing among community members using maps, the written word and photography.
- Billy Montenegro will invite photographers to document and celebrate the textures of SELA from architecture to food.
- Albert Orozco will guide a virtual story-boarding workshop encouraging participants to represent SELA past, present and future through digital collage.
The results from each project will expand Metro’s understanding and appreciation of local identity in order to directly influence the arts and cultural framework for future transportation projects in SELA.
As poet Gina Loring once said, “We are a sea of southern California lives each with a story to tell.” Metro is listening.
Follow @metro.art.la on Instagram for ongoing updates on Nos Vemos and stay tuned in coming months to learn more. Nos vemos!