Art, Activism, and Action: Where to Start with Grassroots Organizing

November 12, 2019 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Free and open to the public

Prepare for a fast-paced introduction to grassroots organizing and practical steps for how to merge your artistic practice and social activism in this workshop hosted by the Visual Arts Center and the UT Austin chapter of Texas Rising.

Using Nikita Gale’s exhibition, EASY LISTENING, as a lens by which to reframe thinking around our stories, histories, and practice; the invited facilitators will share their own role as activists and offer guidance on how to get started. Whether you currently engage in social practice or have an interest in how your work in the arts can deliver social and cultural impact, this workshop can offer starting points and inspiration for the future.

The UT Austin chapter of Texas Rising will also be manning a voter registration table just outside the gallery doors from 3 – 4pm. Make sure to visit to get registered and learn more about this year’s issues advocacy focus for this student organization.

Refreshments and sandwiches will be served.

Event Schedule

4 PM — Introduction to Texas Rising

4:15 PM — Icebreaker facilitated by Texas Rising

4:30 PM — Personal Story Training

5 PM — Introduction to invited speakers + Organizing through art

5:30 PM — Conversation between artists and activists about work in the movement


María Reneé Morales is a social worker by education and by heart. She serves Jolt’s organizer in Austin, where she teaches the Latinx community best practices on utilizing their power to build momentum and change. She has always been passionate about helping people and educating the community.

Rachel E. Winston is an archivist and curator based out of Austin, TX. In her current position as Black Diaspora Archivist at UT, she is leading the effort to build a library special collection documenting the Black experience across the Americas and Caribbean. Her work promotes research and study on the Black Diaspora through primary source material, curated exhibitions, and archival activism.

Yocelyn Riojas is a Mexican-American visual designer, illustrator and artist born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila and raised across the border in Eagle Pass, Texas. Growing up, she was influenced by her parents, who grew up as migrant workers, now serving as attorneys, helping farm-workers and asylum seekers. Passionate about empowering her community by creating a voice for people of color, she is using her graphic design work and illustrations to inspire and prompt a new generation of activists.

Texas Rising—a project of the Texas Freedom Network—builds the power of young people in local communities and at the ballot box. The Texas Rising program organizes and builds power with young people of color in a multi-issue, intersectional social justice framework.

Jolt is the largest Latino progressive organization in Texas, focused on building the political power and influence of young Latinos.

Back to top