Get to Know: Laura Wilde

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We’ll talk to Laura Wilde, the new executive director of Xico Arte Y Cultura. Xico Inc is a non profit founded by a group of local artists in 1975 to support Chicano and Native American arts and culture.

José Cárdenas: XICO ARTE Y CULTURA IS AN ARTS ORGANIZATION FOUNDED IN 1975 BY CHICANO AND NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISTS TO SUPPORT INDIGENOUS ARTS AND CULTURE. THE GROUP HAS A NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. JOIN ME AS WE "GET TO KNOW" LAURA WILDE. YOU ARE NEW BUT CHICO HAS BEEN ON MANY TIMES AND WE HAVE ARTISTS INCLUDING THE FOUNDERS.

Laura Wilde: WONDERFUL.

José Cárdenas: TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION AND KIND OF GIVE US YOUR VISION FOR WHERE IF IS GOING TO GO FROM HERE.
Laura Wilde: XICO ARTE Y CULTURA IS AN ORGANIZATION STARTED BY INDIGENOUS ARTISTS IN 1875 AS A SPACE TO CELEBRATE INDIGENOUS CULTURES THROUGH THE ARTS. THEY WON SEVERAL AWARDS AND RECEIVED NEA FUNDING. IT EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS AND WE REBRANDED IN THE EARLY THOUSANDS TO JUST XICO ARTE Y CULTURA AND WE FOCUS ON THE VISUAL ARTS AND PRINTMAKING BUT WE ARE LOOKING TO EXPAND THAT TO OTHER VISUAL ART FORMS AND FINDING WAYS TO INCORPORATE THE VISUAL ARTS AND STICKING TRUE TO MISSION AND ROOTS TO CELEBRATE THE CULTURE AND HERITAGE OF LATINO AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE THROUGH THE ARTS. A LITTLE BIT OF MY VISION IS TO EXPAND WHAT WE DO NOT ONLY IN TERMS OF PROGRAMMING WE HOST PRINTMAKING WORKSHOPS AND WE WANT TO ENGAGE MORE WITH THE COMMUNITY WE ARE SURROUNDED BY AND SERVE MORE PEOPLE IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX. THAT CAN INCLUDE LATINO AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE BUT WHAT I REALLY HOPE IS FOR THIS TO BECOME A SPACE EVERY IS WELCOME AND THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN ABOUT THE CULTURES AND ART.

José Cárdenas: ONE OF THE BIG DEVELOPMENTS IN THE HISTORY WAS MOVING TO ITS NEW LOCATION IN PHOENIX. WE HAVE PICTURES ON THE SCREEN OF A RECENT EVENT THAT FOCUSED ON EMILY COSTELLO AND THEN SOME PICTURES OF THE SPACE ITSELF BECAUSE IT GOT SOME NICE GALLERY SPACE THERE NOW THAT THE ORGANIZATION DIDN'T HAVE BEFORE. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT TO THE ORGANIZATION?

Laura Wilde: WELL, YOU KNOW, AT OUR CORE WE WERE STARTED BY ARTISTS SO I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO STAY TRUE TO THAT AND HONOR OUR ROOTS BY HAVING A PLACE FOR ARTISTS WHO EXHIBIT ARTWORK AND HAVE PROFESSIONAL GALLERY EXPERIENCE IN A LOCAL SETTING. SO WE PRIMARILY ONLY SHOW LOCAL OR REGIONAL ARTISTS AND HAVE FOUR TO FIVE GALLERY EXPOSITION A YEAR. WE HAVE FREE GALLERY SPACE AND STUDIO FOR A YEAR AND TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES. EMILY WAS OUR RESIDENT ARTIST FOR THE PAST 15 MONTHS AND THIS WAS HER SOLO EXHIBITION.

José Cárdenas: WE HAVE ANOTHER PICTURE OF THE ARTWORK ON DISPLAY. YOU MENTIONED OUTREACH TO THE COMMUNITY AND I KNOW CHILDREN ARE A FOCUS AND YOU ALL OBTAINED FUNDS RECENTLY TO HAVE A VAN THAT WILL GO OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY AND EDGE KATE THE KIDS.

Laura Wilde: YES, THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THAT UP. WE HAVE A NEW PROGRAM CALLED SAY YES TO THE PRESS AND IT IS DESIGNED TO SERVE STUDENTS ANYWHERE IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA WHO ARE LIVING IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES WITHOUT ACCESS TO THE ARTS OR ATTENDING TITLE ONE SCHOOLS THAT NO LONGER SUPPORT ART IN THEIR CURRICULUM. IT IS FULLY-GRANT FUNDED AND WE RECEIVED DIFFERENT FUNDING THIS YEAR. WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF PURCHASING THE VAN AND THEN WE WILL BE GOING TO SCHOOLS. WE ARE SET TO VISIT A SUMMER HIP HOP PROGRAM.

José Cárdenas: WE STARTED THE SEGMENT BY SAYING WE WILL GET TO KNOW LAURA WILD AND HAVEN'T ASKED YOU A QUESTION ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. GIVE US A THUMB NAIL SKETCH OF YOUR BACKGROUND IN THE ARTS WORLD.

Laura Wilde: SURE THING. I DABBLED IN THE ARTS AS A VISUAL ARTIST AND ATTENDED ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY AND PURSUED DUAL DEGREES AND STARTED OUT AT THE MESA ART CENTER AND WAS MOST RECENTLY AT PHOENIX ART MUSEUM DOING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT. SO, I HAVE KIND OF KEPT UP A LITTLE IN THE VISUAL ARTS BUT NOW MOSTLY ARTS ADMINISTRATION AND FINDING GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL ARTISTS.

José Cárdenas: IT IS A DELIGHT HAVING YOU ON THE SHOW AND GETTING TO KNOW YOU AND BEST OF YOU CAN AS YOU LEAD XICO ITS NEXT PHASE.

Laura Wilde: Executive Director, Xico Arte y Cultura

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