With the start of a new program year, we're excited to reflect on a busy Summer and share our plans for Fall. Read below to learn how AjA continues to position the arts as a tool for creative self-expression and as a platform for critical community dialogue. And as the year draws to a close, we hope you'll reach out, visit our community gallery, or inquire about volunteer opportunities to learn how you can be a part of this important movement. 

With warm wishes,
Melinda Chiment

We know the power of the arts to ignite social change! This summer, in partnership with Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS), AjA hosted month-long Public Art and Social Change workshops at four school sites across San Diego. After developing a knowledge of the historic and contemporary role of the arts in social justice movements, participants had the opportunity to conceptualize and create their own image, paired with narrative, that spoke to an issue of significance to them. Their artwork will be on display at the San Diego County Office of Education this October. 

Through a grant from the California State Library, The AjA Project is embarking on a series of visual arts workshops that utilize images from the state archive on Japanese internment to explore civil liberties, then and now. Over the course of six months, invited participants will be treated to guest lectures and art-making experiences by local artists, activists, and educators. Their final exhibition explores the common thread that pulls through histories of internment, detention, and civil rights movements. Stay tuned for information on their final exhibition 2018.

What a night! Thanks to our friends, supporters, and community partners who gathered at The AjA Project's Community Gallery on August 12th to raise a toast and reaffirm their commitment to the arts in San Diego. Over 75 people made their way through the space, exploring AjA's recent art installations and engaging with youth artists. Its not too late to ensure young people have access to tools for creative self-expression. To support AjA, visit: DONATE TO AjA

Hi there! Thank you for all your hard work! We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you and your role here at The AjA Project! 
To start, can you tell me a bit about yourself? 
My name is Diana Cervera, I am a multidisciplinary artist and educator. I'm interested in performance through spoken word and theatre and I am also very interested in film and the power that representation can have on our society. I have just recently moved to Tijuana after living in Mexico City for the past two years and am excited to be the new Programming and artistic Manager at the AjA project!
Tell me about your art... 
The work I create is rooted in telling stories that are not seen or represented in popular media. I want to raise a critical voice on various issues that people of color face in the United States. I really think art has the power to transcend our conscious reality and inspire and spark change and movement in people and society. My work seeks to bring visibility to communities of color and really telling stories through our lens. In addition to my own performance work I also consider myself to be an educator and facilitate workshops rooted in spoken word and narrative expression as a way to (re)claim space through performance. I have most recently focused my workshops on youth and women of color and am hoping to continue to develop my artistic practice as an educator as well as a performer.
How about artistically, what are some of your "art dreams"? 
My biggest "art dream" is probably starting my own theatre company or collective rooted in telling the stories of people of color. I envision this company having many components to it such as an educational component in addition to having a performance company dedicated to writing and producing original work.
Is there anything you'd like to say that you feel like you haven't already said? 
I feel really happy to be working at AjA and feel that I am learning so much already! I found AjA or AjA found me at the right moment in my life and I hope I can contribute in a significant manner during my time here.

The AjA Project receives financial support from