San Jose: : Celebrating Creativity in Everyday Life: San José Office of Cultural Affairs Announces Four New Creative Ambassadors
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Kerry Adams Hapner, Director of Cultural Affairs

Photos available on the City website.

Celebrating Creativity in Everyday Life: San José Office of Cultural Affairs Announces Four New Creative Ambassadors

SAN JOSE, Calif. (January 20, 2023)
– The City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs has announced the selection of four local artists to serve as 2023 Creative Ambassadors. The role of the Creative Ambassadors is to champion the power of creative expression and engage residents in finding their own creative voice. The Ambassadors will serve a one-year term starting January 2023, during which they will produce a creative project that invites active participation from residents and celebrates the diversity of San José's cultural communities.

The 2023 Creative Ambassadors represent a range of artistic disciplines and share a deep commitment to San José's cultural community. The Office of Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce the selection of the following artists as 2023 Creative Ambassadors:

Yoon C. Han is an interaction designer, multimedia artist, and researcher. Her research includes data visualization, biometric data visualization and sonification, a new interface for musical expression, and mobile user experience design. She completed her Ph.D. at the Media Arts and Technology, UC Santa Barbara. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design in the Department of Design at San José State University (SJSU). Details on her project available on the City website.

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Elba Raquel and the artist collective Together We Create (TWC) empower artists, youth, and the community through live painting. A San José native, Elba Raquel earned a Master of Fine Arts in Art Education from Santa Clara University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art. She has been a full-time art teacher at Latino College Preparatory since 2015 and a freelance artist since 2007. Raquel produced murals at the Sacred Heart Community Center, The Sweet Soul Shop, with other prominent community organizations and businesses within San José, either solo or in collaboration with TWC. Details on her project available on the City website.

Betrand Patron Paule and the artist collective SJ Storyboard bridge our diverse Bay Area communities through digitally immersive storytelling events and illuminated public art installations throughout downtown San José. Paule is a digital graphic artist and SJSU Alumnus. His core work involves constructing immersive environments by narrating visual illustrations with communities that are projected onto architecture and buildings. Through this, the works of art help define San José's rich cultural identity by supporting, documenting, and showcasing the diverse storytelling of its people and creating a sense of belonging through shared experiences at supported local venues. Details on his project available on the City website.

Suhita Shirodkar is a reportage artist and educator. She leads sketch workshops and sketch walks worldwide. Her recent San José-based projects involve documenting the vintage signs around San José in sketches, and sketching portraits of people in recovery from addiction and homelessness. Shirodkar is currently a Resiliency Resident with WIRED Magazine and holds a Master's degree in Communication Design from Pratt Institute. Details on her project available on the City website.

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In addition to producing a creative project involving the community, the Ambassadors' scope of work includes promoting creative expression through social media, participating in interviews, and helping promote and participate in the WeCreate408 campaign ( WeCreate408 is the Office of Cultural Affairs' month-long creativity challenge, currently scheduled for October 2023. By working with the ambassadors to tailor the messaging around the power of creative expression to their networks, the program helps San José residents to elevate their own creativity and celebrate the role it plays in their everyday lives. In doing so, residents will experience the arts as a vital means of connection to themselves and to others. Support for the 2023 Creative Ambassadors is provided in part by grants from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California's largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José's transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City's anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About the San José Office of Cultural Affairs
The City of San José recognizes that the arts and culture are essential elements in the character and quality of life in a vibrant community and seeks to ensure that San José is an effective hub of a wide array of arts and cultural opportunities throughout Silicon Valley. The Office of Cultural Affairs, a division of the Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs in the City Manager's Office, is the lead City of San José agency for stewarding a vibrant arts sector.

Filed Under: Government, City

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