Los Angeles, CA, USA
Joel Garcia is an artist, arts administrator and cultural organizer with over 20 years of experience working transnationally focusing on community-centered strategies. His approach is rooted in Indigenous-based forms of dialoguing and non-hierarchical decision-making that uplifts non-institutional expertise. Joel uses art and organizing to raise awareness of issues facing underserved communities, inner-city youth, and other targeted populations.
He’s the co-founder of Meztli Projects, an Indigenous based arts & culture collaborative centering indigeneity into the creative practice of Los Angeles by using arts-based strategies to advocate for and organize to highlight issues impacting native artists and youth. He has been awarded a grant by the Ready to Rise Initiative a Youth Development project of the California Community Foundation/Liberty Hill Foundation funded by the LA County Probation Department to support new strategies using art and Indigenous-based practices to support youth and reduce violence.
In partnership with Tongva artist River Garza, he will co-facilitate Memory and Futurity in Yaangna, a project that strives to recenter the narrative relating to the Columbus Statue and its removal on the Original Peoples of Yaangna, present-day Los Angeles, and its descendants by uplifting authentic stories of place through community-centered and restorative practices, and envision new possibilities of engagement with civic and public art by and for Indigenous Peoples.