Wyatt Closs - Artistic Director of Sculpture
Wyatt Closs is a creative based in Los Angeles that has spent the last 20 years on explorations of art for social change. He is considered an early practitioner in a field now known as cultural organizing or culture change work. He is the creator and artistic director of the Move Into the Future sculpture.
Move into the Future is his fifth large scale public art work. In the last year alone, he created two other large scale public art projects, Forever Essential, a memorial to healthcare workers who passed away in service due to Covid-19 and Revolve/Resolve, a poignant and vibrant portable exhibit about the past, present and future of the black experience in Los Angeles.
He was also the creative force behind DearFrontline.com, an interactive property where art honors essential workers, the Strike for Black Lives Murals series in 8 cities in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, and Its All Up to Us, a large scale art show about voting rights, mass incarceration, immigrant rights and police violence that flipped a Southern mansion at Wake Forest University in North Carolina into a home for justice.
North Carolina is also where Wyatt was born. His career has taken him to Washington, DC, New York City and Los Angeles, where he currently lives with his wife, Roshin Mathew.
Mer Young - Artist
Tongva (Long Beach), Descendant of Chichimeca & Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache Tribe Mer Young is an Indigenous published artist who has created a body of artwork manifested in collages, drawings, paintings, and founder of Mausi Murals public artworks. Young's artworks aim to inspire, celebrate and elevate repressed indigenous, first nations and native cultures and women of color. Her works also focus on matters of immigration and the uprising to justice, equality and complete freedom of Black Lives.
Young’s works have been included in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her public art works can be found in the East Village Arts District of Long Beach, CA, in The Sixth and Ninth District of Long Beach, CA, in The City of Glendale, CA, The City of South Pasadena, The City of San Pedro, The City of Paramount, The City of Anaheim and in the Art District of Los Angeles. She is a current member of The National Foundation of Independent Artists (NFIA), she holds Associate Degrees in Fine Arts and Liberal Arts from Long Beach City College and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from The University of Southern California.
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh - Artist
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is a Brooklyn based artist working primarily in oil painting, public art, and multimedia installations. She is from Oklahoma City, born to a Black mother and Iranian father. Tatyana's work is rooted in community engagement and the public sphere. She makes site specific work that considers how people, particularly women, queer folks, and Black and brown people, experience race and gender within their surrounding environments -- from the sidewalk, to retail stores, to the church, to the workplace. She is the creator of Stop Telling Women to Smile, an international street art series that tackles gender-based street harassment.
Tatyana has spoken about her work and process at institutions such as National Museum of African American History and Culture, Brooklyn Museum, New Orleans Contemporary Art Center, as well as several schools including Brown, Pratt, Stanford, and The New School. Fazlalizadeh has been profiled by the New York Times, NPR, the New Yorker, and Time Magazine. In 2018, she became the inaugural Public Artist in Residence for the New York City Commission on Human Rights. The impact of Fazlalizadeh's work spread to popular culture when she collaborated with director Spike Lee to base all of the artwork featured in his Netflix series, She's Gotta Have It, on her work. She also served as the show's art consultant. In 2020, Tatyana's debut book, Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We're Taking Back Our Power, released from Seal Press. Her work is currently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of the exhibition, Black American Portraits, curated by Christine Y. Kim and Liz Andrews, in conjunction with the Obama Portraits.
Alex Arzu - Artist
Alexander “Zú” Arzú is a Houston-based muralist and tattoo artist who was born in Germany to Garifuna-Honduran immigrants. While he enjoys excelling in all forms of artistic expression, Arzú finds that art is about the creation itself and not the medium. His goal is to produce art that inspires viewers to have their own unique experience. Arzú, a graduate of the University of Houston, had a four-year-long stint as an architect before becoming a well-known local artist. He has since worked with influential brands such as Coca-Cola, singer Willie Nelson, MTV Cribs, and more.
(she/they) serves as United We Dream’s Senior Marketing and Creative Director, leading the network’s digital engagement of members, communication and narrative strategies, as well as culture change strategies to build the power of undocumented people in the U.S.. She was the lead creative and digital strategist behind the Home is Here campaign, which led to the protection of DACA in the Supreme Court, and under her leadership, UWD’s membership grew to 1,000,000 and the average monthly social media reach expanded to 6,000,000.
(he/him) is a queer and proud immigrant who serves as the Digital Director of United We Dream, where he works to bring change to his immigrant community. After his father's deportation, he joined the movement to transform and empower immigrant youth and people of color to be fierce leaders that will fight back against attacks on their communities.
(she/her) is a DACA recipient who moved from Brazil to the United States when she was eight years old. She serves as the Senior Communications and Political Director at United We Dream, where she has been a strategist for multiple immigration campaigns, including Clean Dream Act Now in 2017-2018, and the Home is Here campaign, which led to immigrant youth's victory at the Supreme Court on the DACA litigation.
(they/them) is a screenwriter, producer and the Arts & Culture Change Strategist at United We Dream. A testament to the leadership pipeline at UWD, Sheri joined the network as a youth organizer for deportation defense and trans/queer liberation campaigns while working as a videographer and theatre educator in Austin. They later led communications strategy on TX and FL campaigns and national deportation cases, before going on to spearhead the development of UWD’s Culture Change strategies, arts programming and leadership pipeline for immigrant youth artists and writers.