Local Artist Valdez Preserves Culture
Posted Mar 18 2006
What role do artists play in community?
Artists should educate youth and seniors, and everyone in between. They should educate the public that their voice is important. That what they have to say about themselves, who they are at this particular time, what they have to say about where they live and who they are. It’s the expression of an individual and the group.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
The Cobo Hall Garage Mural project for the City of Detroit, my work on the southwest side (of Detroit), co-founding Inner City Voices and Visions, and working at the DIA.
Can you elaborate?
At the DIA I work with school groups and community groups such as Southwest Community Health and Camp Oakland – a camp for wayward youth. Different groups come in each week and we also have a four-session program. We have a multimedia program and the students paint, draw, sculpt, etc. I’m also involved with the “El Arte” program. The DIA sends artists out to work in local schools. I recently worked with a third grade class at Harms Elementary School for ten weeks. Our theme was the International Human Rights Day, with a focus on children’s rights. The student’s work was put on display at Wayne State University.
What are some of the things that you’ve done in southwest Detroit?
Well, I’ve worked with youth, and with seniors, doing arts programming. I did many of these programs through Inner City Voices and Visions. Our focus was multicultural, intergenerational arts programming. (These programs) were at Ste. Anne’s church, LA SED (Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development) and we’ve done them outdoors with public artwork. I also worked with the Matrix Theatre Group, doing their stage sets and posters. However, I’m no longer affiliated with ICVV and I’m working as an independent now.