Yuko Okabe
North Shore Community Development Coalition


As a Rose Fellow, Yuko hopes to learn about the people in the community and their local events, meeting places, and subcultures. She plans to envelope herself into the neighborhood and learn various unique stories and histories about the area that can educate her art. The fellowship provides a challenging and unique opportunity to engage artists and designers in atypical situations compared to normal expectations in their respective fields. Here, we can build a two-way relation where low-income neighborhoods can invite designers into their space where the designers can observe all optimal systems and those that could use more work. Perhaps certain neighborhoods could have more sustainable initiatives, more free education events, and access to certain resources. Designers can help lay down each facet of the neighborhood and find ways to represent particularly marginalized groups so that they feel they have equal opportunity.

North Shore CDC and Yuko hope to find art- and design-based ways to foster community engagement in Salem's El Punto neighborhood. She plans to meet various community leaders, attend local events, visit local businesses, learn Spanish, and research about the Point neighborhood to build a strong foundation for other design projects yet to come. She plans to ask a lot of questions that she hopes will challenge how the organization communicates to the neighborhood and how they represent El Punto to the rest of Salem and Massachusetts.

Yuko received a BFA with Honors in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been recognized by the Creative Quarterly 50, Society of Illustrators LA, and 3x3 International Magazine; shown her work at the RISD Illustration Triennial; and received the RISD Maharam STEAM Fellowship and RISD Leadership and Community Engagement Fellowship.

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