Ubuntu Arts

Watch the CBS interview with Ubuntu student artists


Since 2006, Ubuntu Arts has brought together groups of young people, college students, and adult mentors to collaborate on the conceptualization, implementation, and exhibition of art-making projects that give voice to social issues of concern to youth in the Boston area. Now housed in the Youth Justice & Advocacy (YJA) program at BU Wheelock, Ubuntu Arts creates opportunities for learning and growth for YJA students, local youth, adult mentors, youth-serving organizations, and a wide community of viewers and participants.

Each Ubuntu Arts project creates a framework and a unique process by which people can work together creatively, identify issues, imagine solutions, and make and exhibit art. In this process of learning by doing, participants build relationships, competencies, and skills for themselves and their communities.

We strive to empower youth to become full participants and valued decisionmakers throughout the project. Youth work together in groups at their host organizations where they work closely with college liaisons, adult mentors, and artists. Groups consider the meaning of Ubuntu by debating, discussing, negotiating, making decisions, and choosing a particular issue or message of focus for their piece. By doing so, they wrestle with issues of identity and community and ultimately consider solutions to the issues of concern.

Each group works collaboratively to choose a medium and a form for their artwork, and together they engage in the detailed process of art-making. The finished products symbolize and depict their ideas and the messages that they would like to share with viewers.

Youth and adult mentors prepare their works for exhibition, craft artist statements, and serve as ambassadors for their projects during the reception and later events where their work is showcased. Ubuntu Arts has partnered with Violence Transformed violencetransformed.com for the past 10 years.

Ubuntu Arts 2018 was pleased to work with youth groups at the following organizations: Artistic Noise, Boston; Bird Street Community Center, Dorchester; Blue Hills Club, Boys & Girls Club of Boston, Dorchester; Boston Collegiate Charter School, Dorchester; Boston International High School, Newcomers Academy; Charlestown Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston; Italian Home for Children, Jamaica Plain; Margarita Muñiz Academy, Jamaica Plain; Mattapan Teen Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston; United Church of Christ, Youth Outreach, Rindge, NH; Westwood High School; William J. Ostiguy Recovery High School, Boston.

For more information about Violence Transformed, please see: www.violencetransformed.com.

For more information about Ubuntu Arts, contact Ann Tobey: atobey@bu.edu.