For press and interview opportunities, please email email@example.com
For more than 30 years, DrawBridge has provided free expressive arts programs for children across the San Francisco Bay Area. The new DrawBridge Community Artist Program, supported by the California Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts, builds on this history of service and connects local artists with youth in shelters, affordable housing facilities, and community centers throughout the region.
Five Bay Area artists have been selected to develop art experiences and site-specific works with children ages 5-18. Artists were selected by DrawBridge’s Community Engagement Committee and will work closely with program staff to develop community-focused art activities for children at sites across the Bay Area.
2023 DRAWBRIDGE COMMUNITY ARTISTS
Ashante J. Ford
Ashante J. Ford, also known as Angel Ash (they/she) is a queer interdisciplinary artist residing in Oakland, California. In her writing she focuses on themes of healing, growth, and community. Within her artistic practice, she weaves digital media with her words and has been featured at the Multicultural Center, Berkley and the Drawing Room Annex, San Francisco. They were recently named a 2022 Rooted & Written Fellow with the Writer’s Grotto in San Francisco. Learn more at spirituallyajar.blog
Ashante will work with DrawBridge youth artists residing at affordable housing sites in Alameda.
Jasmine Liang is a multidisciplinary artist, student organizer, and resident of Visitacion Valley. Through printmaking and digital and alternative photographic processes, Jasmine documents and archives personal and ancestral histories connecting to their hometown of San Francisco. As a co-founder of the Art Student Union at San Francisco State University, Jasmine is committed to connecting community to youth arts organizations and local artists. Learn more at jasmineliang.myportfolio.com/
Jasmine will work with DrawBridge youth artists in transitional housing in San Francisco.
Keena Azania Romano exercises her creative mind through the exploration of diverse artistic mediums as a way to engage and understand individual and collective purpose. Romano received her BFA from Pomona College then returned to her native Bay Area to pursue a career in the arts. Her murals can be spotted from Sacramento, California to Oaxaca, Mexico. Inspired by cultural rituals and practices, Romano combines spirituality with urban experience to produce work that draws upon the quest for a greater understanding of intersectional beauty in this world. Learn more at facebook.com/KeeNaRomano/
Keena will work with DrawBridge youth artists in transitional housing in Oakland.
Eduardo Valadez Arenas
Eduardo Valadez Arenas is a Mexican-American artist from Mexico City by way of the Coachella Valley. He currently resides and works in the Bay Area. Eduardo’s artworks echo diaspora, his Mexican-American heritage, and influences of California pop culture. His mixed-media works on paper and handmade panels contain elements of cartoon illustrations, sign painting, traditional printmaking techniques, and street art. Learn more at instagram.com/lacocinaloca/
Eduardo will work with DrawBridge youth artists in Alameda.
Sharon Virtue is a British artist of Jamaican and Irish heritage, living in Fairfax, California, while working internationally in arts and creative community development. She is a multimedia artist, with a BA in Fine art and a Masters in Community arts from Goldsmiths University in London, U.K. She has a strong social practice and believes artists are agents of transformation. Learn more at virtuevision.org/
Sharon will work with DrawBridge youth artists in Marin City.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Artists were selected by a committee of representatives from DrawBridge’s board and staff as well as the following community arts leaders.
A mixed media artist born and raised in Oakland, Demetri Broxton is the Senior Director of Education at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD). He holds a BFA from UC Berkeley and an MA in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University. His work is held in private collections and the permanent collection of the Monterey Art Museum.
Amy Owen is the Executive Director at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. She is a seasoned and resourceful curator and exhibitions/publications manager with over two decades of experience in the regional and national arts ecosystems. Amy holds a Master of Arts in Curatorial Studies from Bard College.
Applicants were considered without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, or any other characteristic or status protected by federal, state, or local laws, ordinance, or regulations.
DrawBridge’s expressive arts programming is built on a firm foundation of cultural awareness and sensitivity that reflects and celebrates the creative power of the children and diverse communities we serve. Recognizing that homelessness and housing insecurity disproportionately impacts communities of color, DrawBridge provides a welcome and nurturing space for all, and seeks to employ artists, staff, and volunteers with deep connections to these communities. Learn more at drawbridge.org/about-us/equity.
Funding for the DrawBridge Community Artist Program is provided by the California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and the generosity of DrawBridge supporters.