Community Based Solutions to Graffiti

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An article written by Arts for Action was recently published in the Ventura County Star Sunday paper.  The article (link) revisits Oxnards latest Graffiti Abatement Task Force meeting, explaining how an inter-generational network of residents is demanding a reform of Oxnard’s flawed graffiti abatement policy.  Arts for Action and its allies are challenging the trend toward increased youth incarceration and are demanding more art and education programs for youth who have been labeled “at risk.”

Community Solutions to Graffiti
By Canek Peña-Vargas
Sunday, March 29, 2009

An unusual crowd filled Oxnard’s March 11 Graffiti Abatement Task-force meeting. There were business owners, artists, elected officials, students, teachers, police officers and former graffiti artists. An exceptionally creative dialogue ensued. Like most innovations, these new ideas are born from a problem.

Oxnard spends more than $1 million a year to erase graffiti. It is attempting to paint over the problem. Most have seen the graffiti cleanup crew driving around town in a white truck and trailer, featuring a bumper sticker that reads: “You Spray, You Pay.” The concept seems simple and reasonable. Vandals should pay to repair the damages they have caused. Sadly, Oxnard has found it quite difficult to make this slogan a reality.

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Reminising una Noche de Cumbias

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Thank you to everyone who came out and supported Arts for Action at our cumbia party last week.  The party just kept going… twelve hours, two piñatas, hundreds of songs, and many dances.

Special thanks to the generous donations by: Cameron, Cesar, Marcos, Robin, Juan, Maricela, Sylvia, Araceli, Arnulfo, Chuy, Dina and everyone else who donated anonymously.

Special appreciation for Cameron for donated all of his tips to the fundraiser!

CUMBIAS EN MI CASA – a birthday party and fundraiser

cumbia-party-flierCUMBIAS EN MI CASA is a birthday party for Canek and benefit for Arts for Action.

Come on through, enjoy some live music, DJ and a firme BBQ.

Saturday, March 21st, 1pm

3521 Miramar Way
Oxnard, CA 93035
(near Wooley and Victoria)


Bring cash, checks, credit cards…
so that you can support Arts for Action’s youth art programs:
Paint Not Prison – A community mural program that integrates arts and community organizing.
Cine Libre Productions – Independent media production project that engages local youth in social justice film making.

GRAFFITI IN OXNARD – scratching the surface of a complex issue

Paint Not Prison is a new mural program of Arts for Action

Paint Not Prison is a new mural program of Arts for Action

In mid-February, the VC Reporter featured an article examining the complex issue of graffiti in Oxnard.  Integrating vivid prose and well researched reporting, James Scolari, tackled the issue from all sides.

Almost a month later, Arts for Action’s Paint Not Prison program is successfully entering into its third week.  We are working with local youth to offer legal education, civic analysis, art classes, and community organizing training.  Our goal is to organize a public meeting of South Oxnard residents to discuss relevant community issues and incorporate those ideas into a mural design.  We will be painting the mural at the Rodeo Community Center in South Oxnard.

The LAB has now opened its new location (2945 E. Ventura Blvd, Oxnard) and will be hosting a grand opening party on Saturday, March 28th, at 1pm.

Without further delay… here is the article.

Physical Graffity

Scratching the surface of a complex issue

By James Scolari 02/19/2009

AMONG THE MANY REMARKABLE TALES of Alexander the Great is the legend of the Gordian knot, a tangle of such surpassing complexity that it defeated all attempts at its solution. Those familiar with the tale know that Alexander is said to have solved it in a masterstroke — that it was a stroke of his sword rather than his more subtle faculties seemed to trouble neither the oracles of the age nor the historians who continue to recount the tale.

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