The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.


December 6, 2021

Contact: Jon Webb

(949) 632-7564

2022 Akumal Festival Grant Recipients Announced

Residency exchange program creates bridge for international artwork collaboration

Orange County, CA – Four artists have been awarded grants as part of Community Engagement’s Akumal Festival Arts and Culture Residency. The program sends artists from various communities in the U.S. to Akumal, Mexico, where muralists from all over the world contribute their talents to the annual street art collaboration. The 2022 Akumal Arts Festival will be held January 28-30.

Santa Ana artists Alicia Rojas and Roger Eyes will each receive housing and a $2,500 grant to cover travel and living expenses for their one-week residency in Akumal. Rojas is the only Orange County artist to be awarded a 2021 Established Artist Fellow grant from the California Arts Council and is an artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana. Eyes has been a working, multi-disciplinary artist since 2003 who is recognized for his dedication to inspiring youth and communities through art.

“Community Engagement direct grant funding has allowed me to focus on making public art that speaks to our experience as immigrants and people of color in America,” said artist Alicia Rojas. “I am grateful to them for supporting my vision and voice as an artist.”

For the first time, Community Engagement has also awarded residency exchange grants that will bring two artists from Mexico to Orange County to participate in local art activities. Artists Adriana Delfin and Andrés Byeck from Quintana Roo, MX will each receive housing and a $5,000 grant for travel and living expenses from Community Engagement. Studio space for the visiting artists will be provided by Grand Central Art Center. Delfin and Byeck will participate in the Akumal Arts Festival in January, and then travel to Orange County later in the year to complete their residency.

“We’re excited to be sending two talented, local artists to participate in this remarkable festival, as well as offering the opportunity for two artists from Mexico to collaborate with the art community here in Orange County.” said Jon Webb, chairman of Community Engagement. “Our Akumal Festival Arts and Culture Residency reinforces our belief that collaboration through art builds stronger communities.”

The Akumal Festival Arts and Culture Residency is one of Community Engagement’s primary initiatives. Other initiatives include Grantmaking and Creatives-in-Residence, which invites residents living in affordable apartment communities to join in creative collaborations with artists, families, and neighbors.

About Community Engagement: Founded in 2015 in Orange County, California, Community Engagement is a non-profit organization dedicated to utilizing the transformative power of art in fostering community. It supports artists and art programs that reimagine shared communal spaces and stimulate social engagement, creative expression, and collective empowerment.

Contact: Jon Webb (949) 632-7564


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