The Judy Baca Arts Academy represents the tremendous potential for creative learning endeavors within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). We believe that academic preparedness means placing art, creativity and self-exploration at the center of the scholastic journey. The Emancipation Project, a collaboration between University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Judy Baca Arts Academy (JBAA), reflects this ideology. The four-week workshop pairs members of a 6th grade class with university students enrolled in the Beyond the Mexican Mural studio course through the UCLA@SPARC Digital/Mural Lab.
Under the direction of Professor Judy Baca, undergraduates assist and mentor JBAA students as they create life-sized self-portraits. Beginning as photographs, these images transform into hand painted portraits reflecting memory, identity and aspirations. The individual portraits will be installed together in the school’s outdoor eating-area as a unified image of “emancipation,” commemorating the students’ graduation from elementary school, while celebrating their future achievements within academia and beyond.