"My goal as the community participation manager is to not only bring the community to The Avenue Concept, but also to bring The Avenue Concept to the community."
When did you first become aware of The Avenue Concept?
Ever since I originally came to the city at age 10 from the Dominican Republic, I’ve always seen the work of The Avenue Concept (TAC) around Providence. Later, I had the opportunity to watch the artist Nychos paint the mural called “Battlecat” right behind the neighborhood where I grew up.
How did you end up becoming a part of the team that made that mural happen?
I didn’t know anything about the Avenue itself other than the work itself. Once I was made aware of the organization I was immediately interested in how I could be a part of something so multidimensional and cool. I saw “Battlecat” being painted when I was 15, right as I was starting to become a musician. I didn’t know then that would eventually evolve into a professional multimedia artist. Once I saw the listing for the community participation manager position I knew that it would be a perfect fit.
Why does this work matter to you?
I believe that TAC brings the value of public art to Providence and beyond. The artwork that TAC installs has the ability and potential to tell the story of many different individuals from all walks of life. I feel TAC serves the community at its best when it holds up a mirror to the diverse cultures that we see throughout the city, state and world. The work is an important representation of the people and the multitude of ideas and forms of self expression that we carry within our heads throughout our lives.
How do you see your role expanding on that work?
My goal as the community participation manager is to not only bring the community to TAC, but also to bring TAC to the community. My short term goal is to create more opportunities for access to the different resources, events, public space activations, etc. that we offer. Whether the obstacles to that access be language barriers, cultural differences or just the lack of knowledge about our organization, I intend to bridge those gaps in order to further develop our relationship with the community.
How do you see that playing out over the longer term?
My long term goal is that TAC becomes not only one of the leading arts organizations, but also one of the driving forces for public art within the state of Rhode Island and even beyond. There is endless opportunity for growth and I see this organization expanding in an omnidirectional manner, all while giving the community ownership of the artwork and never being a force for gentrification. I truly believe this work will help strengthen the overall ties to the organization, whether it be at a personal level or in a larger administrative sense.
How TAC can it increase the impact of its work?
There are many opportunities for TAC on the near horizon. As we expand our staff and our capacity to execute these projects, there is a boundless number of places where we can collaborate with different organizations throughout the city and beyond. Through the Community Participation Program we have already begun to establish the foundation for these connections. As we start to complete projects with these different groups and individuals we will undoubtedly see an exponential increase in the impact of our work.
What are your thoughts on the team you’re joining?
I think the team we have in place at TAC is absolutely wonderful. I can say that each and every person that is a part of the team is a unique individual with a passion for public art and creating a change in the world. Each of these individuals bring their own unique perspective to the table and as we combine our talents and work together we are creating the infrastructure for an ever evolving organization that is truly driven by community input and high quality productions.
What do you bring to that team?
I think I bring the element of people to TAC. Whether it be canvassing the local neighborhood or performing at an event I organized out of state, one thing is true: I am always dealing with people and love getting to know the identities and needs of every different human being. I think just being able to navigate through different walks of life and have empathy for people of all backgrounds is something important that I bring to the team.