William Estrada grew up in California, Mexico, and Chicago. His teaching and art making practice focus on addressing inequity, migration, historical passivity and cultural recognition in historically marginalized communities. He documents and engages experiences in public spaces to transform, question, and make connections to established and organic systems through discussion, creation, and amplification of stories through creativity already present. He is currently a faculty member at the UIC School of Art and Art History and a Teaching Artist at Telpochcalli Elementary School. He has worked as an educator with Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, Hyde Park Art Center, SkyArt, Marwen Foundation, Urban Gateways, DePaul University’s College Connect Program, Graffiti Institute, Vermont College of Art and Design, Prison + Neighborhood Art Project, and the School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
William’s art and teaching are a collaborative discourse of existing images, text, and politics that appoints the audience to critically re-examine public and private spaces. As a teacher, artist, and cultural worker he reports, records, reveals, and amplifies experiences you find in academic books, school halls, teacher lounges, kitchen tables, barrios, college campuses, and in the conversations of close friends to engage in radical imagination. William is currently engaging in collaborative work with the Mobilize Creative Collaborative, Chicago ACT Collective, and Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative.
William has presented in various panels regarding community programming, arts integration, and social justice curricula through the Illinois Art Education Association, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Illinois Humanities Council, the Smart Museum of Art, the National Guild of Schools in the Arts, National Art Education Association, Teachers for Social Justice San Francisco, Iowa University, Grand View University, Illinois State University, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Nebraska Art Teachers Association, Illinois Arts Alliance, Chicago Cultural Alliance, Gallery 400, Utah State University, and University of New Mexico. William was awarded the 2016 Teaching Artist Community Award from 3Arts Chicago, the 2021 National Leadership Award from the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and is the Inaugural 2023 Imagine Just Fellow.
His current research is focused on developing community-based and culturally relevant projects that center power structures of race, economy, and cultural access in contested spaces to collectively imagine just futures.