Letter from the Founder
First off, I want to welcome you to Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE)’s website, our inaugural presence on the internet. Our aspiration is that this page will provide a clear background on the work of ARTE, documentation of our past projects, and a vision of our future. However, in time, we hope that this site will also serve as a resource for those working in the fields of youth development, arts education, and human rights - all three of which ARTE is strongly committed to.
Several years ago, I founded ARTE under the premise that young people would have access to engaging, quality arts-based education focused on the local and global human rights issues that were most meaningful to them. Working with young people (and also adults), I saw that they were disconnected and disengaged from even the most basic human rights concepts; concepts that directly affected them and others in their community on a daily basis.
However, much of this changed as the arts were utilized as a mechanism for introducing human rights education. I saw firsthand the effects that poetry, theater, and visual arts had in helping young people to cultivate their leadership skills by creating awareness in their community around human rights. I saw amazing things happen. Young people who were initially unable to locate Cambodia on a map eventually created awareness around human trafficking in both Cambodia and their local community by creating a mural. Other young people who had never before picked up a paintbrush were able to teach their peers about children engaged in slave labor. The rest, as they say, is history.
In closing, in several recent, fruitful conversations I’ve had, one quote has continuously stood out in my mind:
Teaching for social justice is a lifelong endeavor.
ARTE is a nascent organization dedicated to empowering young people to make human rights change through the arts. We have worked and will continue to work with young people in high schools, in after-school programs, and in partnership with other organizations. However, we acknowledge that our work is just the beginning of a lifelong journey in guiding young people around social justice change.
We hope that you will join us in this journey.
Marissa A. Gutiérrez-Vicario, M.Ed., M.P.A.
Director and Founder
Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE)