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June 1, 2013

Not too long ago I was watching the news and saw something amazing. A young Latina from The X (Bronx) who was internationally known for graffiti and giving back. She bombed (tagged up walls) in the US of A and on other continents.
Well what have we here I thought?

My next interview it would seem and some great networking.

In the middle of the X we met at a spot called The Point, a community center that had programs for youth and adults. There were kids learning Spanish dances from volunteers of a subset of Americorp, Older people meet ups, a snack bar, and rap sessions with a Social Worker. Not to mention an arts program that had painting, drawing, and of course graffiti.

-So Miss163, what do you do here?

-Miss163: I run a women’s empowerment group and other groups to benefit the local youth.

-Where have you worked?

-Miss163: I did non profit for 9 years but have branched out.

-What did you do before this recent work?

-Miss163: I was in Peru for a year on a Fulbright Scholarship. I went for one thing and found another.

-Explain please.

-Miss163: Initially I went to do experimental film making and exploring humor, indirectly satirical and or humorous. But as time progressed I found a different venture, a different voice.
Social Disparities and the like were a focus but we learned that people literally were disappeared in Peru for critiquing the government. It was real. When people talk
About black helicopters here- that madness is real in Peru.

-Maripussy Crew?

-Miss163: I linked up with them in Peru. We became family actually. It was a group of dedicated females with a global perspective. And our reach is global. Peru, Paris, USA, you name it.

-Why was this big for you?

-Miss163: From my youth I wanted to be down with a crew but it was a male dominated arena and that made it difficult. I was a drawer and artist by nature. I went to LaGuardia High School and then Cooper Union where I got a degree with a Fine Arts Concentration.

-Tell us more about Peru.

-Miss163: In Peru we bombed by permission. Many people couldn’t afford to paint more than the front of their homes. We came in and offered to give them custom murals aka bombings. Which they loved.

-So essentially you ladies paid for your dreams?

-Miss163: Correct.

-What is the goal of the Women’s group you run at The Point?

-Miss163: to create sustainable change. That every girl helps every lady, helps every woman so we grow as a cohesive whole.

-Who is your favorite artist?

-Miss163: Nina Simone. In Graff- Chile’s Initi. As a sculpter- Donald Judd.

-Longterm plans?

-Miss163: I’d like to open an LLC for my artwork and other ventures, maybe a 501C3. That is iffy though. I would love to open a women’s center in Peru.

-So you would use your USA dollars to love on Peru?

-Miss163: Yup.

-Tell me about your CK Shock work.

-Miss163: CK Shock became Street Edition and initially I was contracted to do small canvases and personal art pieces for those involved on the project. From gifts it expanded to bottle/product design and ad campaign. Then I was asked to partner on the cosmetics angle as well.

-That is pretty amazing. Tell me about the person who set this all up in your lifetime.

-Miss163: My mom planted the seed from a very early age. She told me I would make millions following my heart.

-Thats raw. Tell me the Jordan’s story 1 more time.

-Miss163: I had hit my mom up like- buy me these $85 dollar Jordans, they’re dope. And she was like no that’s too much $ for sneakers.
So about a week later I hit her up like- Mami, can I get art supplies? She grabbed her purse and we went. When the total rang up it was dead on the same amount- almost to the penny and that’s when it hit me: The values she was trying to instill in me, but more importantly the belief she had in me and my creativity.

-Wow. That’s a bit too real lol. So your mom has been a driving force equatable to your passion?

-Miss163: Exactly.

-I thank you for your time. Where can my readers find you and your work?

-Miss163: @Miss163



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