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Distinguished UCLA Chicana/o Studies/World Arts and Cultures Professor and Artistic Director of SPARC, Judith Baca, issued her challenge to LAUSD students from over 17 high schools at the second annual Aspen Challenge this last Saturday, February 8th, 2014. Each school contributed eight students, one teacher, and one principal. The 17 teams are expected toto choose and address one of the six challenges issued by leading scholars, artists, environmentalists, and humanitarians. The challenge was held at the Cesear Chavez Learning Center located in Pacomia, a neighborhood familiar to Judy from her childhood. In light of recent trends where more and more murals are in danger of being tagged, vandalized, or completely destroyed due to various factors including the desire for young graffiti artists to write over public art in the name of “coverage” and the desire to “brand” walls with their personal logos, Judy issued the following challenge:

“I challenge you to create a mural which beautifies and addresses an unheard voice, story, or issue in your community. I then challenge you to launch a campaign which engage your peers in the preservation and understanding the art work.”

For more information, videos of the challenges, and the proposals led by LAUSD students, visit:

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