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BWB NEWS 05/28/2019

La Calaca Arte Urbano: 2018 Microgrant Update

One of our 2018 Community Micro Grant Recipients is La Calaca Arte Urbano  in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Project lead Klaudia Oliver describes the project:

With San Miguel developing into a cultural destination for Dia de los Muertos, we are fighting to keep a sense of cultural equity, especially for underprivileged youth.  Centro Mictlan, the urban arts initiative, burgeoning out of La Calaca, aims to give access to arts to urban artists by negotiating walls and giving access to arts supplies and permits.  The theme of life and death encompasses the fragility of the planet and some of the works represented this. The urban art take over was lead by young Merle Herrera, who gives art lessons to children, with a view to empower them with creative thinking and Jesus Valenzuela, who is working to develop further arts skills to emergent graffiti artists, including printmaking, life drawing, and mosaic.  

Our 2019  BWB micro grant supported an urban art takeover in Colonia Guadalupe for La Calaca Festival in San Miguel de Allende.The street art in the city has helped create a sense of community.  Access to art has been felt, and there is visible change in the economic well being in the individual neighborhoods. Small bodegas are adding second floors and the neighborhoods feel colorful and full of art.  A survey we conducted among residents was overwhelmingly in favor of the street art.

The total number of artists we hosted thanks to the grant was 10. Approximately 10K people came the festival and viewed the work, but the work continues to be experienced by the residents of San Miguel everyday, which number in the tens of thousands.

Did this project especially highlight any of the 10 Principles?

Radical Inclusion, Civic Participation, Radical Self-Expression, Gifting.  The funding goes towards emergent urban artists who sometimes lack the access to funds to create art.  The public nature of the art is an act of civic participation in that the streets are covered for public art display, and the artists were given free reign of expression on the thematic of “Death and Transformation”.  

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photo by Marc van der Arc
photo by Marc van der Arc


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