Joel Garcia (Huichol) is an artist, arts administrator and cultural organizer with 20+ years of experience working transnationally focusing on community-centered strategies. His approach is rooted in Indigenous-based forms of dialoguing and decision-making (non-hierarchical) that uplifts non-institutional expertise. Joel uses art and organizing to raise awareness of issues facing underserved communities, inner-city youth, and\ other targeted populations.
He’s the co-founder of Meztli Projects, an Indigenous based arts & culture collaborative centering indigeneity into the creative practice of Los Angeles by using arts-based strategies to advocate for and organize to highlight issues impacting native artists and youth.
He served as Co-Director at Self Help Graphics & Art (‘10-’18), and Co-Chair of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities-Boyle Heights Youth Development Campaign. He's a fellow of the Intercultural Leadership Institute, Monument Lab and uses printmaking to explore masculinity through Indigenous perspectives through his project “Tatewari.” He has been awarded a grant by the “Ready to Rise Initiative” a Youth Development project of the California Community Foundation/Liberty Hill Foundation funded by the LA County Probation Department to support new strategies using art and Indigenous-based practices to support youth and reduce violence.
In partnership with Tongva artist River Garza, they will co-facilitate “Memory and Futurity in Yaangna,” a project that strives to recenter the narrative relating to the Columbus Statue and its removal on the Original Peoples of Yaangna, present-day Los Angeles and its descendants by uplift authentic stories of place through community-centered and restorative practices, as-well-as envision new possibilities of engagement with civic/public art by and for Indigenous Peoples.