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- This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by Miranda Viscoli.
March 4, 2020 at 12:18 pm #8125Miranda ViscoliMember
NMPGV focuses on the safety of children, families and communities by working to prevent gun violence. NMPGV is a 501(c)3 non-partisan organization whose sole mission is to reduce firearm injury and death through public health, education, advocacy and public awareness in order to protect the safety of our families and communities.
New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence would like to participate in the Mural Love project by creating one of our youth driven gun violence prevention murals. Since 2016, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence has funded, organized and facilitated eight gun violence prevention murals in New Mexico through our program, Murals to End Gun Violence. The murals have been created in Rio Arriba County, Pojoaque, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Our portable mural was on display at the Sandoval County Court House, Rust Medical Center and is currently on display at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Warren Montoya from Rezonate Art will be hired to help facilitate the projects. The murals are completely designed and executed by the young artists. After the completion of the project the students receive a stipend for their work. We also provide references for job and college applications.
The purpose of the program is to engage young people in a creative manner to address the problem of gun violence in our culture. It also gives both the student artists and their peers the opportunity to see how their message on gun violence prevention strengthens and empowers their communities. By using murals as a way for teens to positively and creatively address the injustices of gun violence and through sharing their stories of hope and identity, we encourage healing, positivity and empathy for our communities. Our murals beautify the community, motivate safety and encourage a celebration of cultural identities. The murals reflect different cultures and the pride of those cultures. By combining the above with the theme of gun violence prevention a message is communicated that the lives of those living in these communities are of value and deserve to be protected from gun violence.
Creating gun violence prevention murals gives our young people a space to articulate their concerns about gun violence in a positive environment. The murals are an effective way to raise social awareness about the issue as hundreds of students and adults pass the murals daily. The program also teaches our young people the importance of civic participation, giving them an opportunity to voice their concerns about an issue that directly impacts their well-being.
The experience of creating the murals offers the participants a chance to learn the skills needed to create a mural. They learn graphic design, painting techniques, how to work with different kinds of paint, and grid work. In addition, they learn problem solving with their peers, conflict resolution, team building, leadership skills, and taking responsibility as a collective whole to finish the project. All of these life skills carry over into other disciplines.
Oftentimes, the youth we were working with are living in high risk situations. The majority have either been victims of gun violence or committed gun violence. Some have been in gangs, have issues with drug and alcohol addiction, food insecurities and little family stability. We strive to create a safe and positive environment for the youth to work. In this space, they articulate their concerns and their own experiences with gun violence. We design a specific structure for each of the different groups of youth. By the end of these projects, they have a newly gained confidence and a realization that they are important agents of change in their communities. In addition, they experience their community’s support.
City of Albuquerque Mural:
Much of the work we do is with youth in New Mexico on the issue of gun violence prevention. We see firsthand the devastating effects gun violence is having on our youth in Albuquerque. Oftentimes, our murals honor young people that our artists know who were shot and killed. We would like to do a mural with the City of Albuquerque to honor youth that we have recently lost. One of the students working with us to organize this mural lost her best friend in 2017 to gun violence and another close friend that same year. It is her desire to include her friends in this mural.
Warren Montoya Facilitator of Murals to End Gun Violence
Warren Montoya comes from the Indigenous communities of Santa Ana Pueblo (Tamaya) and Santa Clara Pueblo (Kha’po Owingeh) in New Mexico. Encouraged to be a creative community builder, he works as an entrepreneur, an artist, a non-profit Executive Director and a youth development facilitator.
Warren holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from Fort Lewis College. In 2013, Warren started the company REZONATE Art, LLC to sell and promote contemporary Native art. Now focused on producing murals in collaborations with organizations and schools, his company works to activate community engagement through art.
In 2015, he founded the REZILIENCE Organization, a non-profit initially dedicated to producing an annual Indigenous arts festival. With its mission now pivoted toward “building capacity for Indigenous peoples and communities”, REZILIENCE generates programs and holds space to explore methods, share knowledge, build skills, learn tools, and make peer connections to help Indigenous Nations thrive into the next 1000 years. Warren is also an artisan who practices various mediums including painting, graphic design, jewelry and furniture making.
Miranda Viscoli Co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence
Miranda Viscoli received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at New York University as well as a Bachelor of Arts from California State University at Long Beach. In the summer of 2009, she completed her masters in Latin American art history at California State University Long Beach where her master’s thesis won the Outstanding Thesis Award for the College of the Arts. After the Sandy Hook shooting, Miranda Viscoli suspended work on her PhD at UNM in order to research and write about the problem of gun violence both in New Mexico and the United States. Miranda Viscoli is co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence. She has worked with schools, school boards, police departments, legislators, and city councils to implement gun violence prevention measures throughout the state. She serves as a regional board member for States United Against Gun Violence. Is the current Chair of United Way of Santa Fe County. She was awarded Ten Who Made A difference by the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Mucho Gusto by the Santa Fe City Council for her work on gun violence prevention in New Mexico.
Attachments:October 2, 2022 at 4:08 pm #16729
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