¡Viva!: Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas

With examples from community arts projects in five countries, this collection will inform and inspire students, artists, and activists. ¡VIVA! is the product of a five-year transnational research project that integrates place, politics, passion, and praxis.

Learn from Central America: Kuna children’s art workshops, a community television station in Nicaragua, a cultural marketplace in Guadalajara, Mexico, community mural production in Chiapas; and from North America: arts education in Los Angeles inner-city schools, theatre probing ancestral memory, community plays with over one hundred participants, and training programs for young artists in Canada. These practices offer critical hope for movements hungry for new ways of knowing and expressing histories, identities, and aspirations, as well as mobilizing communities for social transformation. Beautifully illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, the book also includes a DVD with videos that bring the projects to life.

[Abstract by 49th Shelf Press]

Table of Contents

Preface. Who, Why and How VIVA?


Introduction. Rooted in Place, Politics, Passion, and Praxis: Decolonization, Popular Education, Community Arts and Participatory Action Research

PART I. RECOVERING CULTURAL HISTORIES: From Indigenous to Diasporic Contexts 


Chapter 1. Planting Good Seeds: !e Kuna Children’s Art Workshops
Jesús Alemancia (CEASPA, Kuna Yala, Panama)

Chapter 2. The Lost Body: Recovering Memory—A Personal Legacy
Diane Roberts (Personal Legacy Project, Vancouver, Canada)

PART II. TRANSFORMING URBAN SPACES: From Post Colonial Neighborhoods to Public Squares


Chapter 3. Out of the TunnelThere Came Tea: Jumblies Theatre’sBridge of One Hair Project
Ruth Howard (Jumblies Theatre, Toronto, Canada)

Chapter 4. Telling Our Stories: Training Artists to Engage with Communities
Christine McKenzie (Catalyst Center, Toronto, Canada)

Chapter 5. A Melting Pot Where Lives Converge: Tianguis Cultural de Guadalajara
Leonardo David de Anda Gonzalez and Sergio Eduardo Martínez Mayoral (Tianguis Cultural and IMDEC, Guadalajara, Mexico)



Chapter 6. Painting by Listening: Participatory Community Mural Production
Sergio G. Valdez Ruvalcaba (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico)

Chapter 7. Connecting the Dots: Linking Schools and Universities Through the Arts
Amy Shimshon-Santo (UCLArtsBridge, Los Angeles, USA)

Chapter 8. With Our Images, Voices and Cultures Bilwivision: A Community Television Channel
Margarita Antonio and Reyna Armida Duarte (URACCAN, Bilwi, Nicaragua)

Epilogue. Critical Hope



About the Editor, Contributors, and Videographers

VIVA! Project Partners’ Contacts

Photo and Drawing Credits

VIVA! Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas:

Nine Videos (on accompanying DVD)


Related Projects