Loisaida Inc. presents

Cultural Memory Project 2

Toys and Play from My Childhood

A Loisaida Inc. Project

Check out the full proposal, click here.

Project Description:

Loisaida Cultural Memory Project 2: Toys & Play from My Childhood (Juguetes y Juegos de mi Niñez), will engage seniors in generating reflections of their lives through the use and creation of toys. The initial engagement process will be sparked through an invitation to see themselves as a character or toy, and develop personal histories. Playing with toys alone or in group is an important and critical element in child development and growing up and learning about the world around us. Many will have actually made their own toys and invented their games with older siblings, parents and/or extended family and friends.

Younger children use toys to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they will need as adults. Adults may use toys to form and strengthen social bonds, teach, help in therapy, and to remember and reinforce lessons from their youth. Group sharing will stimulate individual reflection of personal identity traits. We will discover the toys that our elderly possess and what they represent to them; while, at the same time addressing current cultural and socio-economic realities. They will create and be guided in the recreation of toys using a variety of media, such as textiles, pencils, paint, flowers, etc. A toy is something we give to children to make them happy; it is something we all have possessed at some point in our lives. This can be a playful point of departure which will lead to deep cultural introspection and unexpected discussions.

The Curriculum will be presented to the seniors over 15-two hour sessions. There will be two complete 12 session series that will take place during the project period for a total of at least 60 contact hours.

*This project and its curriculum and activities have been conceptualized in a way as to allow for modification and input from the particular senior center and community that choses the Loisaida Cultural Memory Project as their SU-CASA program.

WORK PLAN & SCHEDULE (Subject to Modification)

1st Phase: Reflection and Memory: Seniors will be encouraged to develop a reflection of their lives through different relaxation, meditation and corporeal exercises, encompassing memories, migration & immigration stories, cultural identities and other experiences to create confidence between the seniors & the artists where thought streams of memories are shared & developed into artistic and creative mediums.

2nd Phase: Art Workshops: the artist will share art techniques of expression with seniors to offer them tools to begin their work;

3rd Phase: Preparing for the Exhibition: Workshops will be documented with Photography being the medium of choice;

4th Phase: Public Presentation & Exhibition.


Blanka Amezkua: I am an artist, cultural promoter, and educator. I was formally trained as a painter, studying in Florence, Italy and received my B.A. from California State University Fresno. My work and projects have been shown in the knited States, Mexico, Belgium andGreece at MoMA-P.S.1, Exit Art, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio,Queens Museum of Art, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco, Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA), Casita Maria and The Taller Boricua, among others. Recipient of the BRIO award from the Bronx Council on the Arts in 2007, I began an artist-run project in my bedroom called the Bronx Blue Bedroom Project (BBBP) in 2008. I currently oversee AAA3A (Alexander Avenue Apartment 3A), an artist run project space which offers gregarious living room occurrences, face to face exchanges, food, dialogue, workshops, and art in my living room.