Cristina Tavera has a visual artist, curator, and strong advocate for the arts. She has been with In Progress since 2001 when she participated in the La Familia Program. She has been with In Progress ever since as an advocate for our work.
1. Considering all your experience with In Progress, what is one achievement that you personally are most proud of? Why is this achievement important to you? What does it represent?: In Progress offered me the opportunity to experiment. I had never used a video camera before and they rented me the equipment. Also, I lacked confidence in my art as I felt I had no specific direction. I enjoyed working in many different mediums. However, the Director Kris Sorenson once said to me that my art was always about myself, my thoughts about my life, in particular my domestic responsibilities. As mundane as I thought the subject might be, it allowed me to take ownership of the topic and my art production began to have purpose. By determining a constant subject., I was able to write my current artist statement proudly which addresses my focus on domestic chores, family life, and family traditions.
2. What did it take for us at In Progress to achieve this accomplishment? What strengths do we have that helped us succeed?: It was thrilling to try new things and when I had complications everyone was very helpful to resolve them. The support allows you to explore creative ideas. I also enjoyed the interaction with so many different people of different ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ethnicity. The group sessions gave you feedback on your artistic process and product.
3. What do you think makes In Progress unique? What 2-3 things are at our very core that make us stand out from other arts programs or youth development programs?: Dedication to young people and the arts. Success in the ability to understand people of different socioeconomic backgrounds and how to inspire them to produce art.
4. As you think about In Progress, what do you value most? What keeps you engaged here?: The fascination with how In Progress has been able to influence positively so many young people whose complex lives need art as a means of expression.