12402 EF: Youth Culture and Aesthetic Equity in Digital Art Production

06/11/2015 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
The Palace

Organizer: Brenda Hernandez
Presenters: Grace Quintanilla, Melissa Avila, Todd Diederich, Nicole Marroquin, Brenda Hernandez

As educators and youth advocates we are aware of the way teens and their culture(s) are misunderstood and consequently under-valued in society at-large, this even more so for youth living from urban cities, they are scrutinized, criticized and excluded from the sociocultural landscape. To address this issue organizations engage with youth through educational programming during and after school, teaching them valuable tools and digital media practices so that society can perceive them as successful learners, yet their cultural repertoires are limited or even silenced. Youth on the other hand are engaging with issues of culture and aesthetics, they are creating culture and expanding aesthetic notions within their own communities.

Yollocalli Arts Reach of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, IL. and the Center for Digital Culture of the National Council on Art and Culture of Mexico in Mexico City will share their approach to engaging youth into an equitable discussion and production of youth culture, aesthetics within their digital media programs.

Yollocalli Arts Reach is a youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art, they offer free arts and culture programming to teens and young adults. Located in the heart of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, they serve as an open community center with studio spaces, computer lab, recording studio, a large art library, and a creative, supportive staff and teaching artists who are always around to help, encourage, and inspire. Yollocalli urges teaching artists and staff to strengthen the students’ creative and cultural capital by engaging them with their own cultural discourses through art making.

The Center of Digital Culture is a physical and virtual project for the general public with the goal of investigating the cultural, social and economical implications of using digital technology in daily life. It is also a means of communication, an artistic creation and an entertainment forum, which aims to promote awareness of the meaning of living in a world in which we are both “users” and “creators” of digital culture.

This panel will be moderated by Nicole Marroquin, Assistant Professor in Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with the participation of teaching artists from both institutions. Together we will explore, discuss and share strategies for inclusion of cultural repertoires of nondominant groups into digital media programs, perspectives on issues of equity within digital art and cultural production and how we can begin to equitably bridge the digital culture divide to include youth voice.

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