About Us

Arts for Action is an artist workshop and organization which actively engages in a full spectrum or arts including visual arts (professional services and training programs in murals, and graphic design),

performance arts (including Son Jarocho or Veracruz, Mexico; Capoeira of Brazil), music (including drumming; percussion),

video production (professional services and training programs),

equipment rental (video and audio), and artist materials (ranging from music instruments, frames, canvas, and panels).

As a non-profit organization Arts for Action seeks community input and support to continue to drive our workshop area and community organization which includes youth programming and organizing. Our general hours are from 11 AM-8 PM Monday to Thursday, with special events over the weekend. We can be reached at (805)486-ARTS.

Our mission intersects and crosses boundaries between community organizing and personal development and works to build the economic, social, political, personal, spiritual and creative abilities and power of individuals and entire communities involved through spacial justice.

In addition to the services and programs listed three of our major programs are the Paint not Prison, Barrio Dance, Media Justice Programs!

Paint Not Prison is a community organizing and beautification project which engages local youth, mentors and artists including some youth on probation for graffiti offenses. Participants are trained in art history and theory emphasizing community involved mural creation, popular education on consequences of graffiti offenses and decision making. The culmination of the project is a mural production or public art piece, in which community community input drives the imagery and message of the mural.

Media Justice & Cine Libre: The Media Justice project trains local youth, farmworker youth and young adults on probation in audio / visual production. The production topics address social justice based issues and are selected by the youth involved to provide the most possible project ownership. Media Justice teaches strategies in team leadership, peer to peer review, completion of media project goals and finally distribution of media products created. These productions can be seen on: https://arts4action.wordpress.com/a4a-media/

The Barrio Dance Program includes Capoeira and Drumming Classes on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 PM, Son Jarocho on Thursdays at 6 PM, other workshops in sound engineering, Hip Hop, Baile Folklorico and other forms of dance and performing arts. The various dance companies involved in programming can also be booked for various events.

Feel free to come to our center in Downtown Oxnard, or give us a call anytime. We look forward to your input and contribution to the arts.The vision of Arts for Action is to create and nurture a youth based and arts focused movement for social justice, by providing training, infrastructure and resources.









TomasProgram Director

A. Tomas Hernandez Jr. is a native of the Oxnard Plains, a former US Army Infantry Field Medic and has a knack for problem solving. A special admiration for Cultural Arts and the GI Bill allowed him to complete his studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara in the Chicana/o Studies Department, home of CEMA (California Ethic and Multicultural Achieve). He cut his teeth organizing students statewide in support of the victorious United Farm Workers of America (UFW) campaign to win a contract at Pictsweet Mushroom Farms. Tomas’ dedication to community service and love for public art has brought him full circle to a desk job with no windows. Five year organizational plan, “windows”!










MikeResource Development Coordinator

Michael Shuman was born and raised in Oxnard, California. His B.A. degree is in International Studies and Spanish. As an active member of Arts for Action since 2002 he started out as a volunteer and later went on to become board chair. Working with CAUSE, the League of Young Voters and Arts for Action – Michael has organized various campaigns, including Living Wage, Voter Empowerment, Alternatives to Military Recruitment, Youth Leadership Development and Health Care Expansion. You may occasionally find Michael standing on his head. Currently, Michael manages Arts for Action’s financial records, and coordinates fund development activities.


Leadership Council

Arts for Action’s Leadership Council functions like a board of directors. However, we do not function according to Roberts Rules of Order. Instead, we strive to reach consensus on all of our decisions and maintain a horizontal process. The leadership council meets with Arts for Action staff quarterly. Leadership Council Committees – such as out reach, communications, and resource development – meet more frequently.

KrisKristopher Cortez is a Puerto Rican, born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the mid 80s. In the early 90’s he and his family moved to Southern California, where Kris grew up and found his passion for the arts. This passion took Kris on a journey to Ventura, California where he currently attends Brooks Institute and will receive a B.A. in Film and Video Productions with a focus on Visual Effects, 3D Animation, and Motion Graphics. Over the last year, Kris has produced many short films for Arts for Action and conducted skill share workshops in video production for youth in Filmore and Oxnard. Kris tends to burn the Mate late working on numerous Film projects.






Moses Mora –

marthaMartha Olin is a Chicana born in Ventura, CA. She became a militant community activist in 2006, when she walked out of school in support of immigrant rights. She endured a term in Saturday school for taking a stand for the cause. She is currently a student at Oxnard High School and plans to attend Ventura College next fall. Martha used to play volleyball. Vice President of OHS MEChA, Martha aspires to be a homicide detective. Martha handles the camera. She really likes horror movies, death metal, R&B and Crunk.

img_78841Amy Aguilera is a Chicana born in Oxnard, CA. She became a community activist in 2006, when she walked out of school in support of immigrant rights. She served a sentence of Saturday school for defending her people. She is a student at Oxnard High School and plans to attend Ventura College next fall. President of OHS MEChA, Amy enjoys Chican@ Studies and Film. Amy handles the microphones. She is a fan of Kanye West and Rancid. Her ultimate goal is to attain a PhD.

chuyChuy Leon was born to a widow Maria Teresa, in Mexico City, on the last day of 1982. He was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents in the state of Guanajuato. At age 6, his mother passed away in a motorcycle accident. With his grandparent’s blessings, he migrated to the U.S. at age 10. Living with family in Santa Cruz county. He moved again at 15, this time to Oxnard Ca. where he currently resides. His first inspiration to create art came to him at age 7, while looking through his mother’s sketch book. Since then, any involvement he has had in art, has been with the sole purpose of immortalizing Maria Teresa Leon. After two comissioned murals, one published book illustration, a B.A. in studio art, plus ten years as a musician, he still enjoys to see his community grow and prosper. www.chuyleon.com

priscillaPriscilla Cisneros was born in Ocotlán, Jalisco, México. At the age of 10, Priscila found herself carrying false documentation to present to la migra, on a school fieldtrip from Baja California, México to Disneyland. Upon decent from the bus, kids impatiently lined up to get into “the happiest place on earth”, but Priscila eagerly walked towards a bench by the parking lot. On the bench, her parents (whom she had not seen for years) waited to take her to her new home in Oxnard, CA. For the exception of a few years when Priscila went to school in LA and in Mexico City, she has lived in Oxnard ever since.
In 2005, Priscila received a B.A in Chican@ Studies with a minor in Political Science from UCLA. Currently, Priscila works as a Community Builder for CEDC; in this position, she enjoys creating opportunities for individuals and groups to gain and practice the skills needed to bring about change in their own communities. She especially likes community garden, playground, and community mural projects. In addition, Priscila is interested in immigration reform and social justice efforts, as these issues tie to her personal experience growing up in the U.S. as an immigrant. In the spectrum of the arts, Priscila is most attracted to the art of dancing; her favorite genres include cumbia, samba, and folkorico.

beatrizBeatriz Garcia was born and raised in Oxnard, California. She received her BA in Political Science & Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University. She is a Community Organizer and has worked to successfully develop leaders in the Barrios of San Diego and more recently in Ventura County, California. “Building people-power is my artwork!”


To donate to Arts for Action Just Click Here!


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