Teen Artists on the Issues

Calling all passionate, creative teens! Arlington Center for the Arts is offering a special opportunity for you to expand your understanding of the impact arts can have on communities. Join us for a FREE weekend-long program June 18-20, 2021 and discover how you can effect social change through visual arts! This action-oriented, experimental program will provide you with new tools, inspiration, peer collaboration, mentorship, and space to create and share work with the community at large. We cannot wait to experience what you create!

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What students can expect during the weekend:

  • Opening Speaker and warm up activities related to arts and advocacy

  • Intensive workshops with local artists who are experts in community arts and their relation to personal and community advocacy

  • Workshops and group critiques to refine ideas and receive feedback

  • Training on presenting work both virtually and in person

  • Culminating show in which work will be shared with the community


Eligibility & Evaluation Criteria: 

This program provides artistic mentorship and development for youth to explore and expand their creative skills. Applications are now open to teens ages 13-18. We are looking for committed, conscientious artists and thinkers with a passion for social change. Selected teen artists will gain experience through guided workshops and projects with our teaching artists. Participants will be chosen based on their application responses and in consideration of an intentional effort to center access, equity, and inclusivity into their lives.  ACA strongly encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds including people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people of varying abilities and other marginalized communities to apply.

Applicants must reside in Massachusetts. Priority will be given to applicants living in Arlington and surrounding communities. We are accepting up to 10 students in each area of focus for a total of 20 students in this program. 

IMPORTANT DATES (please save for your own records):
DEADLINE EXTENDED - Applications due: Friday, May 21 at noon (12pm EST)
Accepted artists contacted: Friday, May 14
First Workshop & Opening Speaker: Friday, June 18, 2021 (evening)
Second Workshop: Saturday, June 19, 2021 (morning and afternoon)
Final Workshop: Sunday, June 20, 2021 (afternoon)

Community Exhibit: Dates TBD

Questions? Please email Education and Programs Manager Cat Beaudoin (she/they) at cat@acarts.org

About Our Teen Artists on the Issues Faculty 

Visual Arts Instructor | Brenda Echeverry



Brenda Echeverry is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and facilitator. She has a background in vocal performance, visual art, dance and musical theater. Her creative work is influenced by elements of nature, humanity, spirituality and womanism. She enjoys engaging with community members, families and youth through the arts. In the past, Brenda has mentored elementary-aged students, facilitated creative arts programming in public schools as a teaching artist and advocated for families in the child welfare system as a social worker. Brenda is currently working towards earning her Master's degree in Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

Visual Arts Instructor | Nayda Cuevas



Nayda A. Cuevas' passion emerged for unearthing a visual language to better articulate through visual arts her observation and/or interpretation of her Latina American experience. As an artist her interest lies in using history, art history, and current cultural trends to produce images of both her physical and emotional experiences of displacement.

Ms. Cuevas was born in Puerto Rico. Her family migrated in 1990 to Florida. As a means of negotiating alienation and the absence of familiar people and places she turned to the arts to explore her identity.  She obtained a BFA in Fine Art (2002) from Stetson University in DeLand FL and her MFA in Visual Arts (2015) at Lesley College of Art (Former Art Institute of Boston) in Cambridge, MA.

Opening and Closing Speaker | Dzidzor



Dzidzor (pronounced "Jee-Jaw") is an African folklore, performing artist, author and entrepreneur. Didzor’s style of call and response, has reimagined poetry and story-telling as a way to include the audience in an experience to challenge, inspire and encourage self beyond traditional forms. She began performing through slam poetry and now curates spaces Black Cotton Club, and teaches in Boston.

Born in Italy, to Ghanian Parents and raised in North Carolina. She’s immersed herself in merging cultures from the South to Ghanian culture. She’s a vessel chosen to deliver a message through writing, performance, and community organizing. Her debut poetry collection, "For Girls Who Cry in Yellow," explores the healing process through the perspective of an African woman. Dzidzor has been nominated twice, for a Boston Music Awards. Dzidzor released her debut EP entitled, “bush woman” on April 10th, 2020.


This program is made possible through a grant from the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency ​that promotes excellence, inclusion, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences, fosters a rich cultural life for all Massachusetts residents, and contributes to the vitality of our communities and economy.


The Council pursues this mission through a wide range of grants, initiatives, and advocacy for artists, communities, organizations, and schools.