What does legacy mean to you, and how is it represented in your art and/ or work in your community?
Terry Benelli, Executive Director, LISC Phoenix: I believe neighborhoods are the center of social equity and opportunity—which is why our work at Artspace and LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) is so important. Quality of life, opportunity, and belonging must be accessible to everyone. It’s worth our investment of time, money, and energy to level this playing field that is systemically unfair. It is what I work for every day, and when others join in the effort, that is the legacy.
David Crummey, Real Estate Development Manager, Newtown CDC: I’m fascinated by the concept of entropy— that without adding energy into a system or community, the system eases towards disorder. In a time where it is easier and easier to disassociate yourself from your community, it’s increasingly important to build stronger connections with people, and deeper investment in our own geography. Here in downtown Mesa, our legacy will be reflected by the stewardship of our community, and the places and systems we build. More so, making sure we’re including or making space for those who have been historically excluded.
Josaphat Zelaya, Photographer, Designer and Artist: I feel legacy is something that is primarily reflected on in the past tense, where I’ve come to understand it as something we build everyday - in the present. So that moves me to want to give my life to the ideals of hope, justice, and freedom today, not tomorrow when I’m gone and can’t take any action. While I believe in creating art for art sake, I want to create art that captures the essence of those ideals and the unbreakable human spirit that rebels against the inequity it faces.
Illustrations and photo by Josaphat Zelaya.
Excerpt from the Artspace QUARTERLY #5: The Mesa Issue