Urban Art Fest has been organized annually for seven years. Like all other community events, U.A.F. is organized by youth. The purpose of this event is to empower young artists and to educate the community on the different forms of Urban Arts.
Why is Urban Art Fest so important?
Urban Art can easily be translated to "street art." Street art, especially in cities, has been the gateway to the artistic expression for youth about the social and political issues affecting their community. This art is often referred to as the "elements of hip-hop.” This art includes Rap, Breakdancing, DJing, Graffiti, Beat-Boxing as well as Show Cars (such as low-riders and imports). Hip-Hop has always served as an artistic expression for youth of color and youth who come from impoverished or underrepresented communities. However, due to three long decades of systematic and social discrimination against these arts, youth who practice them have become highly stigmatized.
For example; graffiti artists, even while often being underage and very talented, have been associated as criminals and gang-affiliates. Social and educational spaces given to these youth to express themselves in a safe and legal manner, have often been shut down by authorities, and sometimes their communities (mostly due to the lack of understanding about this form of art). This has led many graffiti artists to a cycle of incarceration and other forms of legal ramifications which lead to less educational and professional opportunities.
As an organization that focuses on youth empowerment and social justice, we have worked very hard to create a safe and legal space for young talented urban artists in our community. Urban Art Fest has served as a space where artists of all ages and backgrounds can come together, make connections and share their talent with the community. By bringing this event together, our community has had the opportunity to learn from our youth and to understand how “Street Art” can be associated with social justice and peace in the community. It also has given young artist the opportunity to learn about potential art careers, through connecting with older and established artists.
More importantly; Urban Art Fest, has given youth a safe space to express themselves and to showcase whatever talents they may have with their families and communities, while de-stigmatizing these forms of art.
URBAN ART FEST
Latinos Unidos Siempre has organized Family and Heritage Dinner for the past 20 years since 1996.
The mission of this event is to provide a free dinner for families in the Salem Community. This event is organized around the time of Thanksgiving Day so that families who do not have the resources to celebrate this day at home, can do so with their family in a safe and welcoming environment. We also give out food boxes when we can, so that families can continue the celebration at home.