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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

California’s Art Workshop of the New Dawn

José A. Arenas directs the Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer, the Art Workshop of the New Dawn. Arenas, who also teaches the Chicana/o Mural Workshop in the UC Davis Department of Chicana/o Studies, talked to me about the place of TANA in the Woodland community and the University of California at Davis. His perspective follows.

It just feels so good to see young people use the Taller for expressing their ideas and as agents of change. Elyse Doyle-Martinez from UC Davis and her team, for instance, collaborated with Brown Issues, a Woodland organization for young people, to create a show around safety in Woodland, a community 49 percent Chicano. Young people are dealing simultaneously with not feeling safe and being over-policed, both real and tangible issues for them.

We’re cementing relationships with the Woodland Joint Unified School District’s principals and teachers.


Last year, a group of 18 students in the mural class connected with Plainfield Elementary and engaged students in conversation about, among other things, the rich agricultural heritage that Woodland has, including immigrant labor.

A lot of parents work at the Cannery, a block away, or do farm work. People know that they can not only come to TANA to be creative, but to use it as a community space where organizing can happen. 


We go to classrooms, but by offering cultural events, exhibitions, and more, we’re also bringing classrooms into TANA!

In our new garden here, we're already doing some programming related to food justice. We’re thinking about how growing food relates to indigenous practices, like the “Three Sisters” of corn, beans, and squash that provide all the nutrition we need. 

We have an opportunity to provide an educational context that relates to our indigenous roots. Now, some twelve years in, we’re really reinforcing community involvement.


TANA continues to grow in so many ways!

Activist Vicky Hamlin, a retired tradeswoman,
shop steward, and painter, shines the light 
in her art and this column 
on the lives of
working people and the world they live in.