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Baltimore, MD, USA

Jenny De La Cruz
Yael Bloom

Photos by Kat Spies and Jenny De La Cruz

Nico led a series of popups, one on MICA's Campus, and two off campus, one partnered with the local community organization Jubilee Arts for their Artober Festival and the other partnered with refugee youth who work with Soccer Without Borders at Patterson Park.

On campus they targeted MICA’s international student population that couldn’t vote. With Jubilee Arts they targeted Black youth population from West Baltimore, a part of the city that has been historically underserved by local government and where the voting rates are dramatically low. With Soccer Without Borders, they targeted the refugee youth who were already engaged with the organization’s programming in an effort to make them understand the power of voting even if as refugees they can't technically vote.

About organizer Nico Rodriguez Melo:
I'm a curator and Arts Administrator that works in the creation and strengthening of art-related strategies that, combined with other disciplines, allow the empowerment of local communities so they can negotiate their specific problematics. I’ve worked and am interested in the potential of curatorial practices, site-specific interventions, and printed publications as pedagogical devices and change ignitors. Co-director and co-founder at the non-profit organization SUR, formerly known as 4-18.

About collaborator Jenny De La Cruz:
Jenny De La Cruz is an illustrator and graphic designer. Junior at Maryland Institute College of Art and Design and Architecture Senior High Alum. Illustration and MAT Major. Interested in Children's Book Illustrations and Surface Design.

About collaborator Yael Bloom:
Yael is a student leader committed to social change from grassroots volunteerism to national political organizing. As a community-engaged student activist, Yael works to inspire her peers, weaving the threads of social justice in and out of the classroom, innovating new ways to engage and instill a life-long commitment for civic action in the next generation of artists and designers.

About MICA's Voter Access Initiative:
The Voter Access Initiative (VAI) is a non-partisan, cross-disciplinary group working to increase voter participation on campus and around Baltimore.

About Soccer Without Borders:
Through in-school, after-school, weekend, and summer programs, Soccer Without Borders Maryland is a crucial resource to newcomer refugee and immigrant youth across Baltimore City and Baltimore County, MD.

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