805 Youth Exchange

The 805 Youth Exchange is a day when you can interact and exchange ideas, culture, and community.  It includes live performances, youth activities, interactive workshops,  art, music, food, and more.  It will be Saturday, September 25th at Cal State University Channel Islands for high school and junior high school students, young parents, and parents.  It starts at 8:30 AM and goes until 3 PM.

This years workshops include How to Get into College, Urban Expression, Muralism, Athletics, Professional Development, Capoeira, Theatre and more.  Food, t-shirt, and live music/ DJ provided.

Special thanks to CSUCI, El Centrito, Straight Up Youth, Capoeira Batuque, The Lab, CEDC, and all others making this event a reality.


Son Jarocho (Music/ Dance of Veracruz)…6 weeks of Classes

Son Jarocho is a rhythmic musical style with bright melodies, accompanied by dance. Born in the Veracruz Coast tropical region in Mexico the sound of Son is “agreeable to the ear.” The term Jarocho was a term of disrespect meaning “irreverent” but the people of Veracruz have turned the term and music style into a source of cultural pride. This living tradition is performed at Fandangos, festive occasions, where dancers, singe…rs, young and old gather in an inclusive and energized environment.

In this 6 week course students will be able to learn the instrument called the Jarana, which will be provided, and dances and cultural expression of this art form. All ages are welcome, and no experience necessary.

Thanks to generous community sponsors of Arts for Action, and supporters Son Jarocho Maestro Jorge Mijangos we only ask for a $25 material fee for the course for use of all instruments including Jarana. Classes are Thursdays from 6-8 PM.

Depending on the popularity of this course, we will be able to extend, and expand this in the area. Please support, and spread the word about this exciting course.

Space is limited…For questions please contact Arts for Action at arts4action@gmail.com, or (805)487-8984

Arts for Action, Social Justice Fund, and VC Juvenile Probation in the Press: Probation agency painting meant to inspire youths * By Anne Kallas Published in in Ventura County Star

When kids come to the Ventura County Juvenile Probation Agency on Williams Drive in Oxnard they are often afraid, said Mark Varela, chief probation officer and director of the probation agency.

On one side of the main reception area, a television plays a continuous loop of what happens in the juvenile justice system, from fingerprinting and mug shots, to scenes from the inside of a detention facility.

In contrast, the other side of the large waiting room is home to a brightly colored 6-by-8-foot painting created by Arts for Action, with the help of the Social Justice Fund of Ventura County, to inspire the young people.

“For a lot of kids, this is the entry point into the juvenile justice system and they’re scared, confused and guarded,” Varela said. “This is something that depicts a system that cares, with people who are committed to getting youths and their families on the right track.”

The project has been more than a year in the making after Sandra Carrillo, supervising deputy probation officer of West County Juvenile Services with the Ventura County Probation Agency, approached Arts for Action last year to create the artwork. Arts for Action is a community-based group.

“Our main goal is to provide arts training for at-risk youth,” said Tomas Hernandez, director of the program. Because many in the program have been referred there because of graffiti- related crimes, Hernandez said the group has developed the Paint Not Prison program to give young people an introduction into formal art training they can use constructively.

“We have a 65 percent efficacy rate,” Hernandez said. “These are kids who are not good at sports or school and they tag, but we teach them that rather than defacing the walls they could have their work hanging in a gallery.”

Jose Zuniga, 22, of Oxnard was one of the artists who helped with the painting.

“I have a bright palate, so I added that and I did cleanups and touchups,” said Zuniga, a community activist who studies art at Ventura and Oxnard colleges, while teaching through Arts for Action.

Judy Bysshe, Social Justice Fund Giving Circle member and a founder of the group, said the project was a perfect fit for the organization, which provides funding to a variety of groups in an effort to promote social, economic and environmental equality in Ventura County.

Members of the group’s Giving Circle must pay $50 to be part of the projects the money funds. In this case, members of Social Justice Fund were able to actually contribute to the painting during an event in May when they were invited to paint on the canvas that had portions taped off, adding a variety of fanciful images.

Then Victor Aguilar, Rolando Camarena, Andrea Vargas, Hernandez and Zuniga from Arts for Action all worked together to complete the painting, which includes butterflies, hummingbirds and lotuses, along with the words “awaken your power.” Zuniga said he incorporated Mayan symbology into the painting, all of which will be explained in a wall plaque. Hernandez’s father, Art, did the framing for the painting. In addition to the work of Social Justice Fund and Arts for Action, students from California Lutheran University did all of the marketing for the reception to unveil the painting and provided the refreshments

“This mural is going to be one of the first things these kids see. We want to tell youth and families that this is a place to help,” Zuniga said.

© 2010 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/aug/11/probation-agency-painting-meant-to-inspire/#ixzz0wQ6qJEuP
– vcstar.com

Photo by Joseph A. Garcia, Photos by Joseph A. Garcia / Star staff

Above, Jose Zuniga talks about the painting he and four other artists worked on for Arts for Action at its unveiling at the Ventura County Juvenile Probation Agency in Oxnard.

Left, Zuniga and Arts for Action program director Tomas Hernandez straighten the painting.

Unvieling a New Canvas for Social Justice

Save the Date


Standing in front of almost finished mural. Photo by Jon Delorey

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

SJF invites you to the unveiling of the inspirational mural created by Arts for Action at our May fundraiser. This beautiful piece will be on display in the lobby of the Juvenile Probation Services Office to motivate and and promote positive change. Supervisor Kathy Long will be speaking, along with representatives from all three organizations. (No RSVP needed.)

Juvenile Probation Field Services Office
1911 Williams Drive, Suite 175
Oxnard, CA 93036

Oxnard Evolution Mural Community Design Meeting

Oxnard Evolution Mural Community Design Meeting
This Thursday · 7:00pm – 8:00pm

South Oxnard Center Reception Room (4300 Saviers Road)

In this exciting and dynamic 1 hour meeting we want residents input on Mural Design and images. Your voice will help create the 2010 Paint not Prison MURAL. Come represent!

The main theme of this year’s mural is “How has Oxnard changed and evolved over the years?”

After meeting the mural will be painted by youth, mentors of the Paint Not Prison program, a graffiti prevention mural program in the city of Oxnard, as well as community residents.

Last year we had 150 residents, and we are hoping for the same amount of people this year.

Residents can share ideas for images which can include landmarks, areas, stories, ways of life that they would like to see on the community mural (the mural will be at FreshMex restaurant on the corner of Bard and Saviers, but the meeting at South Oxnard Center).

Please come and have a voice in this Public Arts project. The meeting will be bilingual in English and Spanish, with translation to Mixteco, Tagalog and other if necessary.

Please forward to all community members that may be interested in attending!

For Any Information Please Contact Victor Aguilar at Arts for Action (805)487-8984 x 3

Arts for Action and partners take 2nd place at Ventura’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

San Patricio Banner



Arts for Action worked with the Under the Sun Gallery and the Bell Arts factory to create this large work for the parade.  This work will find a home at the Bell Arts Factory.

View of our group from street

Hueneme High students hold the lead banner for the San Patricio’s Battalion.  The students also attended the CINE LIBRE film showing about the subject the night before.

Student walk with banner for parade

Arts for Action would like to very much thank all the people that helped put this daring project together.  We hope that next year we can take first place home with us.  We ask that you goggle the “The San Patricio’s Battalion and find out more history”.

Wonderful work from West in post production



Start Time: Friday, March 12 at 7:00pm
End Time: Friday, March 12 at 10:00pm


9:30 AM  Main Street DownTown Ventura

Learn about untold Irish, Mexican and American History!


The Halaco SuperFunds Site is being destroyed.  The metal structures are being torn down and removed. A great victory for community organizing and environmental justice.



We would like to thank everyone for their help with working towards the removal this toxic area of Oxnard.  It is because of your support that you can now only see the Halaco Recycling Plant in our Paint Not Prison Mural.  Again, we would like to thank all of our funders, volunteers and members.  Long Live The Arts in Ventura County.



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.

Join us for Paint not Prison as a mentor or youth particpant.


Tomas Hernandez


Youth Participants are

  • between the ages of 13 and 18.
  • Youth participants may qualify of graduation payment for participating in the entire program.
  • Youth meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
  • Youth are trained in muralism, arts skills, art and graffiti history, making intelligent life decisions, and public outreach.
  • Youth receive community service hours, strong accomplishments to put on a resume, new friends, and a greater part in the larger community.

Mentors are

  • over the age of 18 and are adults who can show youth how to make good decisions in their lives, teach about art/ muralsim/ graffiti, and community/ family involvement.  One doesn’t need any particular degree, but an open heart and dedication to making the murals, community voice, and empowerment the youth possible.

Please e-mail us to be part of the next program

Paint Not Prison

A Paint Not Prison tribute done on an open wall in Venice, Ca.

The paint not prison program was developed by an intergenerational team of community leaders-representing student groups, community based organizations, and a housing developer. Along the way, we have openly received support and consultation from the Oxnard Police Department and various city officials.

Our goal is to imagine and implement a program that will reduce crime by providing preventions intervention and rehabilitation resources for Oxnard youth. We believe in the positive transformation that is possible through art and civic participation.

We believe that two of the most determining causes of juvenile recidivism are ignorance about the prison industrial complex and lack of life planning. When we refer to the “prison industrial complex”(PIC), we are referring to the system of government institutions, corporations, social policies, and cultural attitudes that profit a small minority of wealthy people at the expense of many under-privileged people and communities – the poor, people of color, immigrants, women, urban and rural youth, and queer people. By “life planning” we mean a process through which an individual analyzes their aspirations, present condition, and available opportunities in order to develop a strategy for self-determination.

The next Paint Not Prison session is set to start in January of 2010. If you are an artist or a mentor interested in working with Arts for Action in the planning and implementation of the next Paint not Prisons sessions, or if you would like to be a participant in the program, please contact us!

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