For many years I have agreed with the idea of integrating Arts to strengthen cultural platforms and define our communities.
I was able to serve in so many initiatives including Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. in Hawaii, under their non-profit organization: Enlace Hispano, and their cultural competency programs, with strategies and tools for developing strong community connecting skills. On my return to Texas in 2004, I began introducing environmental, cultural, and Art programs at schools, churches, museums, therapeutic homes, and art centers. I served as a full time consultant for the Imaginarium of South Texas and even stepped in as a Director of Educational Programs, where I redefined their educational division based on the center’s redirection towards Art, Science, & Engineering, while expanding outreach and taking into consideration a bilingual / bi-cultural audience. In order to reach more than members, I designed a public exhibit area for local artist and student artwork, and included some of mine as part of a permanent collection.
I served under a collaboration between Fine Arts & Special ED Social Work departments by crafting an entire new program introducing Art curriculum meeting TEKS standards, in special needs, starting with only 5 schools at emotionally disturbed self-contained units, and ending with 18 schools and serving 27 classrooms of autism, physically/mentally challenged, and low functioning skills units (ages 3 – 18+). For this consulting preparation I was able to join a university program to take, and pass, the Texas Board for Education Examination in Special Education, along with educational training and seminars for teachers. For the first time the social work department and director’s office were filled with student artwork, while my colleagues and I transformed the main administration hallways into a gallery with our own work.
I pursue the goal of supporting social initiatives while maintaining the conscientiousness of reusing materials. I also maintain a vegetarian lifestyle that transformed me and allowed me to keep up with the physical demands of production management, designing/remodeling, museum exhibits, daily staging, restoration, merchandising, long-term organization, sculpting, art displays, installations, and outdoor activities, including scuba diving, hiking, and exploration. The years working with so many different organizations, directors, clientele, age groups, personalities, abilities, and even different topics and subjects have given me a life-long love of learning.
I know I was created to create and wish to implement my personal philosophy:
practice the art of being useful through the usefulness of Art.