Artist as Instigator: William Estrada

The National Public Housing Museum is collaborating with William Estrada-- a dynamic artist, educator, activist, and cultural worker for Artist as Instigator Residency.

Working collectively with artists, activists, and cultural workers, NPHM hopes to provide opportunities for artists and makers to incubate ideas and produce new work, while giving the Museum’s stakeholders opportunities to express their creative rights - expanding the notion of who is an artist and a maker.

William will work with Museum staff to create socially engaged projects and opportunities that help bridge the divide between the arts, culture, and innovative public policy around the Museum’s mission to preserve, promote, and propel housing as a human right. These projects will be integrated as part of exhibits, public programs, and/or events at the Museum or in surrounding communities. The residency is informed by the Museum’s resources and knowledge, oral history archive, staff, and public housing resident expertise, and community and advocacy networks.

William Estrada was born to immigrant parents and grew up assembling memories in California, Mexico, and Chicago. His teaching and art making practice focuses on engaging the complex experiences within marginalized communities and contested spaces. He documentsand analyzes public/private learning spaces to transform, question, and make connections to established and organic systems through discussion, creation, and promotion of counter narratives.

William's work is a discourse of existing images, text, and politics that appoints the audience to critically re-examine the meaning of their surroundings. As a teacher, artist, cultural worker,  and urban anthropologist he reports, records, reveals, and imparts experiences you find in academic books, school halls, teacher lounges, kitchen tables, barrios, college campuses, and in the conversations of close friends. 

William has presented in various panels regarding community programming, arts integration, and social justice curricula through the Illinois Art Education Association, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Humanities Council, Smart Museum of Art, the National Guild of Schools in the Arts, National Art Education Association, Teachers for Social Justice San Francisco, Iowa University, and Grand View University.  In 2016 he was awarded the Teaching Artist Community Award from 3Arts Chicago.

His current research is focused on developing community based and culturally relevant programs that question power structures of race, economy, and cultural access.

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