Joel Garcia, 2018 NALAC Fund for the Arts Grantee

Joel Garcia

  • Visual Arts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Joel Garcia is an artist, arts administrator and cultural organizer with over 20 years of experience working transnationally with artists across the Americas with a focus on indigenous perspectives. Joel uses art and organizing as a vehicle to carry forth issues facing indigenous communities and inner-city youth. Joel served as Co-Director at Self Help Graphics & Art (2010 – 2018) an organization rooted in printmaking and social justice. Under Joel’s leadership and through his experience, relationships in art-driven initiatives, community organizing and activism, SHG’s programs grew and garnered national recognition, and was recognized by President Obama’s administration. Projects he launched such as the Know Your Rights Poster Making Pop-Ups and JornARTleros led to supporting advocacy for vulnerable communities, Eastside artists, and low-wage workers such as street vendors, among other accomplishments. Joel designed and led the relaunch of the Barrio Mobile Art Studio, a mobile arts program under a social enterprise model employing and training artists. His advocacy and work with youth for a holistic approach to youth development have led to systemic changes in support of Boyle Heights residents. Furthermore, he has centered his work around Indigenous perspectives, as-well-as non-hierarchical, reciprocal, and anti-colonial practices, which has made it possible for SHG to be a host site for Indigenous-based events and mobilizations.