Próxima Generación: Youth Residency Project

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About Próxima Generación

Próxima Generación provides a space for Latinx-identifying youth to collaborate, share ideas, and explore their artistic expressions. Youth collaborate and work with regional culture bearers, artists, and activists to envision a new future while amplifying and nurturing pride of heritage and community. It is facilitated by teaching artist, Jake Prendez and past participant/peer mentor, Aurelio Valdez and is hosted at the new Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery in White Center. The SW Family Services Center in Burien throughout the residency for collaborations and field trips. 

The residency expands on a 6-month pilot program Northwest Folklife launched as part of the 2018 Cultural Focus, Echoes of Aztlán and Beyond: Mexican American and Chicana/o Roots in the Northwest, and includes existing students stepping into mentorship roles in 2019-2020. In collaborating on a shared goal and direction for this project, participants form a strong alliance and connection that allows space for self-expression and a powerful sharing of those expressions as one voice.

Próxima Generación will culminate with presentations for two, accessible-for-all, no-admission events, with the final performance taking place at 49th annual Northwest Folklife Festival, May 22-25, 2020.

Each session will include group discussion lead by local cultural bearers and artists followed by studio time to devote to their individual artistic expressions. Supplies for art projects and snacks will be provided. A stipend for transportation available.

Próxima Generación is supported in partnership with the City of Seattle, Office of Arts & Culture. Learn more about how they are supporting equitable access to arts and culture for Seattle youth through the Youth Arts Grant.

Time Commitment

The group will meet every other Monday, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, at the Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery (9414 Delridge Way SW). Each session will include group discussion lead by local cultural bearers and artists followed by studio time to devote to their individual artistic expressions. Supplies for art projects and snacks will be provided. Transportation or a stipend for transportation is available.

Questions? Please contact Jake at

Join Próxima Generación

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Project Manager: Jake Prendez

The Residency will work with our chosen Project Manager, Seattle-based artist and Cultural Focus Committee member, Jake Prendez. Prendez was raised in Seattle but returned to California after receiving his Bachelor’s in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington to work on his Master’s in Chicana/o Studies from CSU Northridge. His Master’s thesis was entitled The Art of Rebellion: Social Justice and Chicano Visual Arts.

Jake is a strong advocate for youth empowerment and the power of positive reinforcement.  He grew up being told he didn't matter. Jake Prendez is also a renowned visual artist, displaying his work in numerous exhibitions around the country. He was selected in summer 2016 to participate in the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Leadership Institute. In 2017 he was named to the Northwest Folklife Cultural Focus Committee. He also won the "People Choice" award at the 2017 Fiestas Patrias Art Exhibition at the Seattle Center.  His artwork mainly focuses on themes relating to Chicana/o culture, activism, social justice, as well as pop culture and satire.   His artistic style ranges from indigenous influence, social realism, portraiture, tattoo/rockabilly esthetics, to colorful urban style art.

After living and working in Los Angeles for the past 15 years, Jake, returned to Seattle and is hosting the Pop Up Mercado, lecturing around the country, leading workshops and summer programs for youth in the arts. Learn more about Jake Prendez.


Assistant Teaching Artist: Aurelio Valdez

Aurelio Valdez is a Mexican-American Seattle born Hip Hop artist with a potent style. With a range of topics spanning from politics and history to identity and his upbringing, Aurelio’s music focuses on what it means to truly embody Hip Hop culture by empowering himself and his people. Influenced heavily from those who pioneered the culture such as Nas, 2pac, and KRS One, his alluring lyrics provoke thought and reveal his love for Hip-Hop culture with every track. As a nineteen-year-old self-taught writer and vocalist, Aurelio has performed at venues all over Seattle, including the Sky Church at MoPop and Northwest Folklife Festival. His debut EP “Aguila” has gained a lot of traction in the Seattle area. Alongside his artistry, he is an ongoing activist heavily involved as one of the youngest Board of Directors for arts corps, a nonprofit organization aimed to revolutionize arts education by igniting the creative power of young people through culturally engaging learning experiences located in West Seattle. Aurelio has also been involved with Amplifier, a nationwide organization dedicated to emphasizing social movements through art; he even had the amazing opportunity to lead March For Our Lives under Amplifier in Seattle. Aurelio is currently an undergrad student at Seattle Pacific University pursuing a bachelor's degree in both Political Science and Sociology. He’s also taken on the important task of being Social Justice Director and Intercultural Coordinator for the 2018-2019 school year.

For questions, please contact:

Jake Prendez
Teaching Artists/Project Manager