Welcome Diego Perez!

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We are excited to welcome Diego Perez!

Diego Perez is a Design Associate at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. He collaborates on several projects in the Rio Grande Valley that help low-income people to have opportunities to create one of their dreams through the design and construction of affordable housing.

Diego studied at the University CESDAA (Higher Studies Center in Architecture and Administration) in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture.

Learn more about Diego here!

El Sonido del Agua Workshops

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Alongside our partners La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), A Resource in Serving Equality (ARISE), the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, and four selected musicians (Frutoso Villareal, Jonathan Salinas, Refugio Ortiz, and Juan Manuel Alejo) we have recently wrapped up a series of three songwriting workshops in the Alberta Meadows and Owassa Acres colonias.

In July, a workshop was held at each colonia where musicians, residents, and partner organizations came together to write corrido verses following discussions about daily life and the impact of flooding in the colonias. The workshops began a walk around the neighborhood and a Colonia Audit of Public Spaces (CAPS), where the residents recorded the physical conditions and their thoughts on spaces in the community focusing on areas related to drainage, flooding and safety. Musicians participated in the audit as well to hear about challenges and success stories within the colonias. After walking the neighborhood, the musicians performed some of their music and spoke about the corrido process and the musical elements that make a compelling corrido. Residents discussed the music performed and then began to write their own stories as corrido verses.

The second round of workshops took place in early September. During these workshops, groups worked collaboratively to write corrido lyrics, and residents shared out their writings. Musicians led conversations to explore the format of the song to be produced. At the end of September, residents, musicians, and partners re-convened to weave the writings produced through the second workshop into cohesive songs that represent the struggles of each colonia.

We are looking forward to continuing work with our partners, residents, and musicians to record the songs produced through these workshops and plan a dance celebration in the new year. Stay tuned for updates!

El Sonido del Agua is a multi-year creative placemaking project that supports the expression of local voice through music, and is supported by ArtPlace America.

Welcome Valeria!

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We are excited to welcome Valeria Landeros!

Valeria Landeros is a Design Associate at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. Valeria collaborates on a range of architectural and community projects in the Rio Grande Valley.

Valeria studied at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a Bachelor of Architecture.

Learn more about Valeria here!


Construction Underway on Tangelo Quarters

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Tangelo Quarters, a housing development comprised of 18 single-family units, is currently under construction. Framing for the first five units has begun, and foundations for four others have been poured. 

When complete, Tangelo Quarters will provide affordable, contextually-appropriate housing for 18 families in Brownsville, TX. The site will feature a range of community amenities, such as a community garden, for residents to enjoy together. The project meets density goals while preserving individual identities of homes and fitting in with the existing neighborhood. 

We look forward to continuing work with our partners on this project, the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB) and the Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville (HACB) and to seeing the project's completion in 2019. 

Welcome Sara!

We are excited to welcome Sara Taketatsu, our RGV bcINTERN this summer!

Sara is from Antonito, Colorado and is currently a junior at the CU Boulder Program in Environmental Design working on her Bachelor of Environmental Design, specialization in architecture. You can learn more about Sara here

Throughout the summer, Sara will be working on creating materials, documenting, and attending meetings for the El Sonido del Agua project, as well as helping out with architectural design and low-impact development projects in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Sara says, "It's been amazing to meet so many wonderful people in the [bc] community and in the LRGV. There's a depth of knowledge and experiences here that is truly remarkable and exciting to learn from."

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Four Musicians Selected for El Sonido del Agua

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On June 13, 2018 the musician selection committee—comprised of community organizers, conjunto musician experts and designers—reviewed applications and held live auditions at the ARISE Support Center in Alamo, TX. The Support Center is just a few miles from Alberta Meadows and Owassa Acres, two colonias which are focus areas for the project.

Four musicians rose to the top of the list during this session and the committee thought that finding a way for the four of them to work together would foster the best possible outcomes for the project. Two of the musicians are from the colonias themselves (one each from Alberta Meadows and Owassa Acres). The other two live in the Rio Grande Valley and have experience working with colonias. This combination of local expertise and regional understanding of drainage and music should make for a lively experience!

We will announce the musicians at the July 11 and 12 songwriting workshops and community audits, to take place in the colonias. These events will kick off the next phase of the project. Musicians will lead corrido writing writing workshops, following walking community audits led by [bc]. The community audits are designed to support residents of the colonias in identifying, documenting, and reporting infrastructural issues that impact drainage and catalyze conversations about the challenges of daily living in a flood prone area. These audits and conversations will be a foundation for writing corridos (narrative ballads) about these conditions.

Additional workshops will be held this summer to refine the corridos and then produce conjuntos based on these stories. This effort to put the daily struggles that colonia residents face into song is at the heart of El Sonido del Agua.

 This project is supported by a grant from the ArtPlace America National Creative Placemaking Fund.

Welcome bcINTERNs!

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This summer, for the first time ever, [bc] will host an intern in each of its 4 offices.

Our Summer 2018 bcINTERNs are:

Ucha is currently pursuing a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and Environmental Studies from Southern Methodist University.

Sara is working on her Bachelor of Environmental Design, specialization in architecture, at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Alison is pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lilith is a recent graduate of Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Policy and Practice, Political Science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine and Studio Arts.

We are excited to welcome these four new interns to our team! Follow the links to their bio pages to learn more about them and what they'll be working on this summer!

El Sonido del Agua Call for Musicians - deadline for submission extended to JUNE 15!

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We are thrilled to announce the Call for Musicians for "El Sonido del Agua," a multi-year creative placemaking project supported by ArtPlace America.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to JUNE 15!

As part of this project, we will commission one or more local corrido writers / conjunto musicians to lead workshops with colonia residents and collaboratively write corridos that speak to residents’ experiences of flooding and other stormwater issues in the colonias.

The call for musicians is below:

 

 

 

 

 

Convocatoria para Músicos de Conjunto Regional / Compositores de Corridos

El Sonido del Agua - Valle del Rio Grande

 

Convocatoria de Músicos empieza: 5-17-18

Fecha límite para entregar solicitud: 6-15-18

Favor de enviarla escrita o verbalmente

 

Para preguntas:

Para preguntas sobre el proyecto contacte a Thor - thor@bcworkshop.org

Envíe preguntas en Español a Martha - martas@lupenet.org o Laura - laura.arise94@gmail.com

Envíe preguntas sobre los talleres de música a Rogelio - nrogelio@hushmail.com  

 

Descripción del Proyecto:

buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]) se complace en anunciar la convocatoria de propuestas de músicos para El Sonido del Agua, un proyecto que asociará a residentes de colonias con escritores de Corrido / músicos de Conjunto.

El Sonido del Agua es un proyecto de ritmo acelerado y altamente colaborativo. Los músicos trabajan con  residentes, organizadores comunitarios, expertos en políticas y salud pública, diseñadores y planificadores, trabajadores de la ciudad y del condado y más. Los músicos seleccionados para el proyecto le enseñarán a residentes de colonia cómo escribir corridos que respondan y se enfoquen en los problemas relacionados con el drenaje, las inundaciones y los huracanes  al igual como los problemas afectan su vida cotidiana. Dependiendo de los resultados de los talleres se seleccionarán múltiples Corridos para que se produzcan en Conjuntos.

Los músicos deberían estar dispuestos a trabajar en colaboración con los líderes de las colonias y aliados comunitarios y deberán ser capaces de enseñar como escribir canciones y ser músicos de Conjunto o socios de los músicos de Conjunto.

La línea de tiempo del proyecto es la siguiente:

  • Convocatoria de lanzamiento de músicos - 5-15-18
  • 1er Auditoría comunitaria - Observar condiciones secas - 6-11-18
  • Preguntas - formato de seminario web - 6-13-18
  • Llamada para músicos - 6-15-18
  • Selección y notificación de músicos - 6-15-18

Actividades de Talleres:

  • 2da Auditoria comunitaria - condiciones después de la lluvia - TBD
  • 1er Taller de Corridos - TBD
  • 2do Taller de Corridos - TBD
  • 3er Taller de Corridos - TBD
  • Finalización del Corrido - JULIO
  • Composición de letra musical con conjunto - AGOSTO
  • Funciones / Sesiones de Música - SEPTIEMBRE - OCTUBRE
  • Celebraciones en la Colonia - OCTUBRE - NOVIEMBRE

Esta iniciativa está respaldada por el patrocinio de ArtPlace America. Para conocer más sobre ArtPlace America, visite el sitio web: www.artplaceamerica.org

PRINCIPIOS DEL PROYECTO

Las presentaciones de propuestas deben enfocarse en este proyecto musical en colaboración con los miembros de la comunidad utilizando los principios de guia y el proceso de Activacion Vacantes [bc] que se encuentran a continuación:

  • Los corridos deben versar sobre la vida cotidiana, las inundaciones, los huracanes y las travesías que les trajo, incluyendo los problemas relacionados con la salud pública, la vivienda digna y las condiciones de vida.
  • El proyecto debe ser impulsado por objetivos definidos y articulados por los residentes de un lugar en particular
  • Debe elevar las voces y motivar la participación cívica
  • Fortalecer la identidad del vecindario y la historia cultural, desafiando las normas, incluida la aburguesación y el desplazamiento
  • Fomentar la colaboración y la participación creativa entre un conjunto diverso de personas, que culmina en un trabajo co-creado por el artista y la comunidad
  • Empoderar a los residentes para abordar el futuro de su propio vecindario y buscar mayores resultados relacionados con los objetivos de la comunidad
  • Cambiar las percepciones de los desafíos

Para más información en procesos de Activación Vacantes se pueden encontrar aqui.

¿Quienes pueden ser candidatos?

Todo tipo de músico(s) que viva en los El Valle del Rio Grande en EE.UU es elegible a participar y se le invita a enviar una solicitud. Los músicos deben demostrar un gran interés en la justicia social y un gran deseo de trabajar en colaboración con partes interesadas de diversos orígenes económicos y culturales. Los músicos interesados en participar en el diseño, proyectos comunitarios, la planificación urbana o en la creación de espacios creativos son especialmente alentados a presentar solicitudes y aplicar. Las solicitudes son abiertas para ambos grupos colectivos e individuos.

PREMIO DEL PROYECTO

El presupuesto musical es de $ 30,000. Esto se puede otorgar a un o más de un músico, dependiendo de la calidad de la solicitud y su propuesta. El presupuesto incluye la participación en los eventos mencionados anteriormente y el trabajo del músico. Los músicos deberán participar en una auditoría de colonias para informarse de la vida cotidiana de los residentes. Este evento brindará a los músicos la oportunidad de conocer a los residentes y conocer a la comunidad. La programación de este evento puede incluir un recorrido a pie u otros eventos similares para ayudar a presentar a los vecinos a los músicos.

INSTRUCCIONES PARA ENTREGAR SOLICITUD Y PROPUESTA

Las solicitudes se pueden enviar en línea aquí, o verbalmente con Laura o Martha. El personal de [bc] está feliz de ayudar a los solicitantes a completar su solicitud en cualquier momento del proceso. Todas las preguntas de los solicitantes pueden dirigirse con Thor Erickson a el correo electrónico: thor@bcworkshop.org

Todas las aplicaciones requerirán:

  1. Información del solicitante: nombre, dirección, número de teléfono, correo electrónico y sitio web (si corresponde)
  2. Biografía del Músico  (700 caracteres)
  3. Testimonio escrito del músico (700 caracteres)
    1. Un testimonio que proclama la experiencia y el interés en trabajar en colaboración con las comunidades durante el desarrollo de la música
  4. Propuesta de proyecto (900 caracteres)
    1. Especifique el interés y el enfoque del artista para ayudar con las prioridades establecidas de la comunidad
    2. Mencione cómo se relacionaría el trabajo con los principios de activación de vacantes
    3. Mencione cómo el músico trabajará con los residentes a través de talleres
    4. Describa el enfoque y si el músico tiene cualquier otro formato que prefiera que el esquema anterior.
    5. Describe cómo el músico creará  el Corrido con un Conjunto
    6. Incluya un presupuesto preliminar que describa los gastos y las redistribución de todas las personas involucradas.
  5. Muestras de trabajo y descripciones: Los músicos pueden proporcionar hasta 5 muestras de trabajo. Todos los enlaces e imágenes deben compilarse en un PDF, menos de 10 MB.
    1. Medios de audio y / o video: hasta 3 de las muestras de trabajo pueden ser de audio o video. Si usa Vimeo, Soundcloud o YouTube, no proteja con contraseña los enlaces multimedia. El tiempo total de audio o video enviado para las 3 muestras de medios no debe exceder los 6 minutos. Todos los enlaces deben estar relacionados con la hora de inicio.
    2. Documentación fotográfica de trabajo de audio / video y trabajo en 2D / 3D: las fotos deben tener 72 ppp, no menos de 800 píxeles y no más de 1100 píxeles a lo mucho. El tamaño total del archivo de cada imagen no puede superar los 10 MB.
    3. Para cada muestra de trabajo favor de incluir:
      1. El título, año y dimensiones
      2. El rol del artista en la producción de la obra
      3. Descripción breve del trabajo
      4. Solo si aplica, incluya una breve descripción de cómo se utilizó el compromiso de la comunidad para crear o compartir el trabajo

SCORING

Las solicitudes serán evaluadas por [bc] y el Comité Asesor, según los siguientes criterios:

  • La alineación del solicitante con los valores del proyecto
  • La experiencia del solicitante involucrando a la comunidad de maneras innovadoras, creativas y consideradas
  • La experiencia del solicitante de trabajar en grupo con restricciones de tiempo y una fecha límite
  • El interés expresado por el solicitante de trabajar con los residentes de la colonia y los socios del proyecto
  • El interés del solicitante en incorporar los datos recopilados a través de la auditoría
  • La fortaleza de la capacidad de los solicitantes para incorporar principios estéticos para abordar desafíos basados en la comunidad
  • Originalidad, competencia y consistencia de los solicitantes a través de muestras de trabajo

ALIADOS EN ESTE PROYECTO

  • LUPE
  • ARISE
  • TXLIHIS
  • Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
  • UTRGV - Director of Estuary, Environmental and Special Projects (Cameron County Region)
  • University of Texas School of Public Health
  • Department of Population Health and Behavioral Sciences, UTRGV School of Medicine

RECURSOS ADICIONALES

 

 

Call for Conjunto Musicians / Corrido Writers

El Sonido del Agua - Rio Grande Valley

 

Call for Participation Release Date: 5-17-18

Application Deadline: 6-15-18

Submit Via Typeform, or verbally

 

Contacts:

Questions about the project Thor - thor@bcworkshop.org

To submit verbally Spanish Martha - martas@lupenet.org or laura.arise94@gmail.com

Questions about the workshops - Rogelio - nrogelio@hushmail.com  

 

PROJECT OVERVIEW

buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]) is excited to announce the call for proposals from teaching musicianfor El Sonido del Agua, a project that will partner colonia residents with Corrido writers / Conjunto musicians.

El Sonido del Agua is a quick paced and highly collaborative project. Musicians will get to know residents and stakeholders, community organizers, public health and policy experts, designers and planners, City and County workers, and more. The musicians selected for El Sonido del Agua will teach residents how to write Corridos that respond to and address issues related to drainage, flooding, and hurricanes and the dealings of daily life through these storm events. Depending on workshop outcomes, multiple Corridos may be selected to be produced into Conjuntos.

The musicians should be willing to work in collaboration with colonia leaders and local stakeholders, should be able to teach songwriting, and either be a Conjunto musician or partner with Conjunto musicians.

The timeline of the project is as follows:

  • Call for musicians release - 5-15-18
  • Community Audit 1 - 6-11-18
  • Q&A for applicants and auditions - 6-13-18
  • Applications due - 6-15-18
  • Selection and notification of musicians - 6-15-18

Workshop activities:

  • Community Audit 2 - wet after rain - TBD
  • Corrido Workshop 1 - TBD
  • Corrido Workshop 2 - TBD
  • Corrido Workshop 3 - TBD
  • Corrido finalization - JULY
  • Conjunto writing - AUGUST  
  • Performances - SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER
  • Colonia celebrations - OCTOBER - NOVEMBER

This initiative is supported by ArtPlace America. To learn more about ArtPlace America visit www.artplaceamerica.org

PROJECT PRINCIPLES

Proposal submissions should focus on this music project in collaboration with community members utilizing [bc]’s Activating Vacancy guiding principles and process found below:

  • Corridos should be about daily life, flooding, hurricanes, and living through this including issues related to public health, fair housing, and general living conditions.  
  • The project as a whole should:
  • Be driven by a set of goals defined and articulated by the residents of a particular place.
  • Elevate voices and encourage civic participation.
  • Strengthen neighborhood identity and cultural history, challenging norms, including gentrification and displacement
  • Foster collaboration and creative participation between a diverse set of individuals, culminating in a work co-created by artist and community
  • Empower residents to address the future of their own neighborhood, and pursue larger outcomes related to community goals
  • Shift perceptions of challenges

More information on the Activating Vacancy process can be found here.

ELIGIBILITY

Musicians of all disciplines living in the United States Lower Rio Grande Valley are eligible to apply. Musicians should demonstrate a strong interest in social justice and desire to work collaboratively with stakeholders from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds. Musicians  with interests in design, community-engaged projects, urban planning or creative placemaking are especially encouraged to submit applications. Individuals and collectives/groups are welcome to apply.

PROJECT AWARD

The total budget for the musician stipend is $30,000. This may be awarded to 1 or more than 1 musician depending on scope of application and thoroughness. This fee should include participation in the events listed above, and the unique approach of the musician. Musicians will be required to participate in a colonia audit to inform their understanding of residents' daily experiences. This event will provide musicians with the opportunity to meet residents and learn about the community. Programming for this event may include a walking tour or other similar events to help introduce neighbors to the musicians.  

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Applications may be submitted online here, or verbally to Martha or Stephanie.  [bc] staff are happy to support applicants in the completion of their application at any point in the application process.  All applicant questions can be directed to Thor Erickson at thor@bcworkshop.org.

All applications will require:

  1. Applicant Information: name, address, phone number, email and website (if applicable)
  2. Musician Bio (700 characters)
  3. Musician Statement (700 characters)
    1. A statement that proclaims experience and interest in working collaboratively with communities during the development of music
  4. Project proposal (900 characters)
    1. Specify artist’s interest in and approach to addressing stated community priorities
    2. Address how the work would relate to Activating Vacancy principles
    3. Address how musician will work with residents through workshops.
    4. Describe approach and if the musician has any other format they prefer than the outline above.
    5. Describe how musician will merge the Corrido with a Conjunto
    6. Preliminary budget that describes expenses and stipends to all people involved.
  5.  Work Samples and Descriptions: Musicians can provide up to 5 work samples. All links and images should be compiled into one PDF, less than 10MB.
    1. Audio and/or Video Media: Up to 3 of the work samples can be audio or video. If using Vimeo, Soundcloud, or YouTube, do not password protect media links. The total time of audio or video submitted for all 3 media samples should not exceed 6 minutes. All links must be cued to the start time.
    2. Photo Documentation of Audio/Video work and 2D/3D Work: Photos should be 72 DPI, no smaller than 800 pixels and no larger than 1100 pixels on the long side.   The total file size of each image can be no larger than 10MB
    3. For each work sample include:
      1. Title, year and dimensions
      2. Role of the artist in the work’s production
      3. Brief description of the work
      4. If applicable, brief description of how community engagement was used to create or share the work

SCORING

  • Applications will be evaluated by [bc], and the Advisory Committee, based upon the following criteria:
  • Applicant’s alignment with project principles
  • Applicant’s experience engaging communities in innovative, thoughtful and creative ways
  • Applicant’s experience working collaboratively within time restraints and on deadline
  • Nuance and strength of applicant’s expressed interest in working with colonia residents and project partners
  • Applicant’s interest in incorporating data collected through the audit
  • Strength of applicants ability to incorporate aesthetic principles to address community based challenges
  • Originality, proficiency and consistency of applicants work samples

 

PROJECT PARTNERS

  • LUPE
  • ARISE
  • TXLIHIS
  • Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
  • UTRGV - Director of Estuary, Environmental and Special Projects (Cameron County Region)
  • University of Texas School of Public Health
  • Department of Population Health and Behavioral Sciences, UTRGV School of Medicine

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

PDII 2017 Projects Completed!

Learn more about the Public Design Impact Initiative!

For the two projects selected this year, filmmaker Tony Pena filmed and produced two videos for Equal Voice Network, and graphic designer Nayelli Bautista designed essential handouts and informational materials for Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos. 

These projects will both assist each organization with their outreach to residents of the Rio Grande Valley, ensuring they are informed about their rights as citizens or non-citizens. It also positions each organization as a resource for their communities. We hope these design works enable both groups to reach a wider and more diverse audience. 

You can see the products of each project by following our recipient organizations: Equal Voice Network and Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos on their social media. 

Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos now has brochures, posters, flyers, and business cards to distribute that inform Rio Grande Valley residents of their rights and provides resources in case these rights are violated.

Equal Voice Network now has two short videos regarding the impacts of legislation like SB4 and how we can all work together to advocate for the interests of individuals and families in the Rio Grande Valley.

These Public Design Impact Initiative projects were made possible by support from the Ford Foundation. Thank you to our designers, nonprofit partners and supporters!

Expanding Choice in Affordable Housing

Learn more about sustainABLEhouse, and our sAh RGV work.

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sustainABLEhouse utilizes design as a tool to address issues of equity within the Lower Rio Grande Valley by providing affordable single-family housing that is durable, efficient, contextually appropriate, and community & resident informed.

The sustainABLEhouse design process is broken down into simple steps so that a family can confidently make decisions about their home. The design of each home begins with a family filling out a Design Starts Here homework booklet. The simple questions in the homework helps a family think about the factors that will go into the design of their home. [bc] staff meet the family at their property and together measure the property to fully understand how to work with existing infrastructure, trees, and other important factors. This interactive early step helps to build trust between [bc] and the family, an important part of the sustainABLEhouse process.

Since beginning sustainABLEhouse in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in late 2012, [bc] has worked with Community Development Corporation of Brownsville to build homes with 63 families. Each of the families designed their home via a custom design process, or via a customizable catalog process. You can watch a short film documenting our process here!

sustainABLEhouse has fit into four different funding programs and sources in the LRGV. Three of these programs are administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) - Colonia Self Help Center, HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance, HOME Persons With Disability, and the City of Brownsville’s HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance program.

sustainABLEhouse acts on the belief that choice empowers, and a home designed by the family that lives in it will work better for that family, and help to maintain and build viable neighborhoods.

Equal Voice Network

Read more about our Public Design Impact Initiative!

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Equal Voice Network amplifies the voices of local poor and working families, ensuring that they have a say in the decisions and discussions that affect their lives. The organization builds a network of advocates for families in the Valley from multiple partner organizations and all areas of expertise, including civic engagement, immigration, education, employment, housing, and health care. With this project, the Equal Voice Network hopes to address these issues with educational films that will be accessible to the audiences who need them most. We are excited to begin working with the Equal Voice Network and filmmaker Tony Pena in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Equal Voice Network’s beliefs include:

  • Public policies should promote everyone’s ability to reach their fullest potential and advance the common good.
  • Families should have an equal voice in shaping policies and the future of their communities.

And they are committed to:

  •  Protecting the rights and opportunities of all families
  • Holding elected officials accountable to the common good

Tony Pena is a local filmmaker who is bringing his design and film expertise to the project. His work will assist Equal Voice Network in finding creative ways to get across their message to the right audiences.

Together we will create two short videos that engage Rio Grande Valley families and residents on topics and policies that affect their everyday life. The subject of the first two videos will be Texas’ Senate Bill 4, going into effect on September 1, 2017. The videos will help residents understand and prepare for the implications of the legislation in their region. In addition to creating these videos, we hope to generate a process model for making similar informative videos as social, cultural, and political shifts occur, so that the Equal Voice Network can continue to effectively generate and distribute relevant content to residents of the Rio Grande Valley.

The aim of our PDII program is to use local design talent to increase the impact of  our peer nonprofit organizations and community groups. The 2017 PDII program selected two projects to complete in the calendar year. Read about our other project selection, Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos.

Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos

Read more about our Public Design Impact Initiative!

We are excited to begin working with Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos and local graphic designer Nayelli Bautista as a part of our Public Design Impact Initiative. Movimiento del Valle is a community organization that educates and organizes the community around human rights issues. 

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Movimiento del Valle is currently teaching community members about their constitutional rights and training them in strategies to combat anti-immigration attacks at the State and National levels. The Moviemento del Valle recognizes that the Rio Grande Valley is a very vulnerable geographic area that requires thoughtful and effective educational materials on rights and immigration.  The organization seeks support in creating dynamic resources that communicate information effectively through clear and accessible design and graphics.

Through a design process that engages both community stakeholders and partner organizations, Nayelli will work with Movimiento del Valle to update their educational and organizational materials, making them relevant and accessible to the audience Movimiento del Valle would like to reach. Together, we will update and refine Movimiento del Valle’s teaching tools to meet their current needs, and we will generate an online platform to make important information accessible to organization members and the public. 

The aim of our PDII program is to use local design talent to increase the impact of our peer nonprofit organizations and community groups. The 2017 PDII program selected two projects to complete in the calendar year. Read about our other project selection, Equal Voice Network.

Welcome Josh Bremer

Learn more about Josh Bremer here!

Josh Bremer is a Design Associate for buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. He works on sustainable housing and low impact development projects in the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi.

He was born and raised with the understanding that you should never look down upon someone unless you’re helping them up, hence his desire for public interest design and architecture that focuses on the inhabitants of the space. After participating in several mission trips that fueled his already creative mindset, working with people through architecture became his passion.

He began his architectural studies at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. He holds a Master’s Degree for Architecture and a Master’s Degree for Urban Design. He is a Michigan native, having been raised in the small village of Middleville, Michigan.

PDII 2017 Project Selections

Learn more about the Public Design Impact Initiative!

In January 2017, as part of a collaborative effort to extend equity in design to rural, colonia areas, a Request For Proposals was released to invite Rio Grande Valley nonprofit organizations and groups to submit project proposals to be matched with pro bono design services. From this RFP, we received many excellent proposals, and in March, a jury of nonprofit, community and design leaders convened to review the proposals and provide their recommendations for this year's selections.

[bc] is excited to announce that the following two projects have been selected for 2017:


Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos
Movimiento del Valle is currently educating and training community members about their constitutional rights as a strategy against anti-immigration attacks at the State and National levels. Recognizing that the RGV is a very vulnerable geographical area, they seek support in creating more educational resources for the community that help them communicate information more effectively through clear and accessible design and graphics. Through PDII Movimiento wants to start a graphic campaign and an online platform in which RGV residents have access to information and messages from the group. Their proposal includes the production of designs and educational resources to better equip the community on how to defend themselves against anti-immigration laws and a state of militarization and heavy policing at the border.


Equal Voice Network
The Equal Voice Network wants to develop a demonstration project of attractive and accessible social media messages of public interest and benefit. Through PDII the nonprofit wants to create a smart-phone friendly video series (via Facebook) that targets adults who have had limited opportunity for formal education. The first product of the series will break down the very complicated education reform bill passed in 2013 by the Texas State Legislature (Foundation High School Program) to give parents an immediate sense of what they need to be aware of for their middle and high school aged children. The other subjects of the series could cover a wide range of issues that affect the residents of  colonias like health care (Zika prevention), housing (“Is your home address on the 9-1-1 list?”), education (“Will  your child graduate high school eligible for university?”).

Welcome Luis Murillo!

Learn more about Luis here!

Luis Murillo is a bcFELLOW at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. He works on sustainABLEhouse and low impact development projects in the Rio Grande Valley. As a Brownsville native, Luis has personally experienced the multifaceted issues that the community faces. Through the implementation of new ideas and thoughtful design he works to solve environmental and social issues in the community. He aspires to make an impact and create positive change in the RGV

Luis began his architectural studies at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Texas Tech University College of Architecture and gained experience in building code analysis through interning for the City of Lubbock Building Inspections Department.

Building Equity in the Lower Rio Grande Valley

See more posts about LUCHA and our work in the Rio Grande Valley

Building equity in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is a critical part of many of our projects. Together with our partners we are working to increase housing opportunities for low-income residents and to build adequate drainage infrastructure for new and existing neighborhoods, civic engagement, and capacity through design. We invite you to learn more about four of our specific projects: sustainABLEhouse, Drainage Equity, LUCHA, and Public Design Impact Initiative, all of which are working hard to achieve these goals. 

Bridging the Gap: Connecting Nonprofits and Designers

Learn more about our Public Design Impact Initiative!

"Sometimes community groups have this need and designers want to do meaningful work and they don't know how to connect with each other."  Learn how [bc] Bridges The Gap between nonprofits and designers through our Public Design Impact Initiative.

The Public Design Impact Initiative (PDII) is a program to match nonprofit & community groups with local design professional services. This program guides selected projects through a community-engaged design process and partners communities and designers to build the knowledge and experience of both to better serve others.

The PDII 2017 Request for Proposals is OPEN! Are you a nonprofit or community group in the Rio Grande Valley in need of design? Would architecture, planning, landscape architecture, or design expertise help with a project you've had in mind but not the resources to move forward? We encourage you to submit a project proposal! Proposals are due Thursday, February 2nd, 2017.

 

Casitas Los Olmos Nearing Completion

Learn more about Casitas Los Olmos

Casitas Los Olmos is an 80-unit multifamily development currently under construction in Raymondville, TX, built in partnership with Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB). The design of the project incorporates Low Impact Development (LID) strategies, including vegetated swales and permeable driveways to manage stormwater, single family units, and shaded community amenity buildings. Casitas Los Olmos is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2017.