For our Future Forward events, we partnered with Toyota and the Urban Arts Partnership, an organization committed to arts education for today's youths in underserved public schools in New York and Los Angeles. The Creators Project gave an intimate tour of the immersive art installations inspired by the all-new Prius to a group of high school-aged students from the UAP Academy in New York, and middle school students in LA. They spent hours interacting with the pieces and getting to know how they were made.
"Seeing the different ways that artists mixed art, science, and sustainability initially made me feel like, 'Whoa, this really is the future!' I realized that we never really see art with that many layers," says Maxine Batchler who is a 21-year-old alumna of the UAP theater program in NYC. "I really liked that they had different types of art as well, like fixtures, lighting design, and music. I really enjoyed the interactivity. I hope that all art can be as interactive and multi-layered as the work we saw at Future Forward." Batchler considers herself an artist focused on film and photography.
Batchler says that, as a young artist, "The Future Forward event absolutely made me think about how I can add more complex concepts to my work, use different processes, and make my work mean something on multiple levels."
UAP students are increasingly producing digital work and the organization both recognizes the intersection between art and technology as a movement and the need for underrepresented communities to have a presence in these creative tech spaces. UAP will integrate The Creators Project's Future Forward art installations into classroom curriculum. The #ToyotaGiving campaign will culminate with a donation from Toyota presented to UAP to support artistic developments of underserved public schools and to extend the music and arts-integrated education programs.
The organization has a wide range of programs that reflect the needs of the community, from FreshEd, which trains teachers to use hip-hop music and artmaking to boost middle school student achievement on standardized exams, to Project Code, which teaches students how to design and code games, interactive media, and wearable technology. The UAP motto is to "always be innovating," and we hope the Future Forward event and interactive installations will continue to inspire a new generation of creatives.
Check out the photos of the Future Forward event, taken by UAP students Maxine Batchler and Blair Blum:
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