By Andrea Orlando

Community Director

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking

One of our Summit scholars is a Central-American refugee who settled in Los Angeles and dedicated her life's work to improving the lives of women and refugees. Although NCCP has awarded more than two dozen scholarships to attend the 2019 Pacific Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, Yarida Arévalo received a special scholarship awarded in memory of Nilda Vazquez Linger.

Arévalo works at Mercado La Paloma, an economic development project of Esperanza Community Housing in Los Angeles. She plans and coordinates music and dance performances, art exhibits, movie showings, street festivals, cultural celebrations, art and craft workshops. She also facilitates trauma-informed art workshops.

She curated an exhibition entitled, "Freeing Our Selves," for International Women's Day this past March. In addition to the exhibit, she produced a cultural evening with an all-female speaker's panel and jazz performance.

Her work is informed by her experience as a Salvadoran-Guatemalan immigrant, who fled the civil wars that devastated the two countries in the 1980's and '90's. She has worked with various non-profits on refugee and immigration issues, as well as children's education and access to affordable health care. More recently, she has focused on art as a medium of expression around those issues. That is new territory for her, which is why she wants to learn about creative placemaking and specifically how to start economic projects with local artists and artisans for their own benefit, as well as the community as a whole.

Freeing Our Selves was a month-long art exhibit in celebration of International Women's Day in March. The call for entries specified that the art should engage women's struggles for emancipation and celebrate their social, political and economic achievements. It also sought art that depicted iconic women who led or influenced the world's women's movement, women who fought anonymously and challenged convention and art that reflects/expresses/meditates on the myriad benefits and costs of fighting for women’s right.

The call resulted in 12 responses, 11 of them from women. Of the women, half were immigrants from Latin-American or Asian Countries.

The celebration also included musical performances by Las Colibrí, an all-female stringed mariachi ensemble and by Ami Kim, a young vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. The Women's Panel touched on issues of indigenous rights and the immigration experience.

Nilda Vazquez Linger was an Argentine immigrant and psychologist who worked on issues involving women, children and immigrants. To learn more about her, please go to:

The Nilda Vazquez Linger scholarship supports Summit participants whose work focuses on supporting and empowering women, children or immigrants.

113 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

NCCP to sunset in 2021

To Our Dear Friends and Supporters of NCCP, We know we can speak for so many of us when we say that the past year has been a challenge beyond our wildest imaginations. 2020 left no company exempt fro

Board Chair: Colleen Finnegan Kahl

Founding Director: Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

28 Valley Road

Montclair, NJ 07042


NCCP Logo of gears
  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle
  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
COokie Policy

This website uses cookies to identify logged in site members, track user engagement, and for security purposes. The National Consortium of Creative Placemaking will not share your personal information without permission and  does not sell your personal information to any third parties. You may choose to manually clear cookies in your browser settings.