Community Arts — Market Makeover

Youth-Led Community Based Projects

We’re proud to share the strides we’ve made and the lives we’ve touched through our efforts in National City.
We’ve been connecting the community through our series of community art projects, internship programs, and partnerships.

Market Makeover

The ARTS “Market Makeover” series started in 2016 as a collaboration between A Reason To Survive, the City of National City, and local community and business partners in National City. We completed our first project in this series in Summer 2018, with the transformation of the Old Town Market & Cafe (formerly Big B Market).This spring ARTS will be engaging in two new projects in the series. With the collaboration of our students, ARTS staff, and Teaching Artists plan to design and install creative works toward the transformation of local markets in National City.This will support the health of the community, while also advancing the markets’ goals as part of the Healthy Retail Program (a joint initiative of the City of National City and County of San Diego).

These projects will serve to elevate outcomes around inclusive economic opportunities, community health, and cultural vitality. ARTS will work with City government and local businesses to engage local youth in a community design process that results in creative works that reflect the goals of the project stakeholders as well as the wider community. Both Market Makeovers will serve as a culturally relevant, artistically appealing invitation to residents to access healthy spaces and produce as part of their daily life. Both markets are located in National City.

Students will work collaboratively with lead teaching artists Selina & Enrique (chikle) and interns Vale & Alfredo. Ongoing virtual meetings via Zoom, meeting (Mondays) & in person interactions (Wednesdays) 5-6pm at ARTS.

Selina & Enrique

Selina and Enrique met in 2003 at a local music festival called Street Scene. Originally from Sacramento, Selina moved to San Diego in 2004 to attend UCSD and earned a degree in Sociology. Enrique was born and raised in Paradise Hills and earned a degree in Graphic Communication from Cal Poly SLO. Both are visual artists and since 2005 have participated in over 100 art shows. In 2011 they co-founded a traveling urban arts market called Mercado Golondrina in collaboration with other local artists. The mission of the group was to promote entrepreneurship and create accessible opportunities for artists to create and sell their work. In 2016 they opened a brick and mortar shop called Golondrina in Barrio Logan with 4 other artists. In the spring of 2016, along with three Paradise Hills families, they started a community group called ProjectREO and in the summer of 2017 they joined forces with 4 local families to open Project Reo Collective. A neighborhood coffee shop and community gathering space which operated until the Spring of 2020. In 2021 they began working with A Reason To Survive (ARTS) and their Market Makeovers Project, which focuses on teaching youth the basic skills required to design and produce an art intervention that elevates the identity of a local small business.


My name is Vale, daughter of Marco and Marcela Esqueda. I am first-generation with the privilege of going through college and returning home. I majored in Politics and Environmental Studies and learned as much as one can about our world from the classroom seat. My peers and people I have met in my lifetime motivated me to engage in meaningful work that centers my own passions and collective liberation. I love farming and building gardens with others. Our world needs changing and it will not happen without the invaluable energy and determination our youth offer. Our choices must reflect who we want to be and the world we want to see.


Alfredo Rene, is a current senior at San Diego State University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. Born and raised in San Diego, he’s always had interest in design and creating art. He succeeds in solving design problems through his skills and experience in typography, packaging, logo design, illustration, print, branding, and UI/UX mobile design. A designer with a vision from beginning to end and a keen eye for detail, he achieves in applying these design principles to deliver fundamentals of good design in his work. His portfolio encompasses the ability to execute ideas from scratch to final production, through his firm grasp in various media platforms such as Adobe Creative suite. Through this creative passion he takes on new challenges to immerse himself in the process of brainstorming and sketching to seeing a concept evolve to its final deliverables. Alfredo, not only succeeds but exceeds both independently and enjoys collaborating with others in a team setting. 

Volunteer Opportunities

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