Arts Education

‘Still, Like the Air, I Rise’

Educators know the value of arts education,

enriching the lives and perspectives of our students to help them grow and develop. Public works of art also provide a lens through which we interpret the world around us and attempt to convey meaning.

Over the last year, the pandemic has revealed vast inequities – particularly for minorities – as they relate to access to education, health care, wages, voting and other civil rights, most of which are not being addressed by Florida’s legislative leaders, according to UTD President Karla Hernandez-Mats.

A new mural on UTD headquarters at 5553 NW 36th Street “memorializes our resilience to continue to pursue justice for our future, and it also represents all that is at stake if we do not stand up to the forces that wish to silence us and our will as a free people of the United States,” according to Hernandez-Mats.

The mural was commissioned through Murals for Humanity, an ongoing project that has expanded to empower charities, local urban artists and student arts programs. The artist is Florida State University graduate Luis Valle. He was an art teacher at Toussaint L’ouverture Elementary School for five years, where he witnessed firsthand how a lack of resources marginalizes children.