The Mestizo Arts and Activism Collective (MAA) is a university-community partnership located in the Westside of Salt Lake City, Utah. We are a group of high school students,undergraduate mentors, researchers, university faculty and artists who work collaboratively to create positive change in our communities. Through culturally relevant methods of teaching and learning, we work together to foster an engaging space for high school students to develop community-based leadership skills and create community based research projects that address issues that matter to our communities.
We seek to create a safe environment for high school-age students to discuss issues that are relevant to their age-group, issues impacting them, their families, friends and their communities on a daily basis (e.g. education, stereotypes, immigration, bullying, etc.). Drawing from critical theory, we collectively begin to unpack issues impacting our communities and respond by creating artivist projects that address our communities’ concerns (e.g. through websites, documentaries, newspapers articles, murals, music, dance, etc.).