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June 17, 2016

Meet a Community Art Star: Luz Alvarado

Meet a Community Art Star

"Meet a Community Art Star" is a regular feature showcasing ArtStarts' amazing group of volunteers who are passionate, enthusiastic arts champions. Read more posts in this series.

Luz Alvarado moved to Vancouver from Peru five years ago to study at the University of British Columbia. She joined the marketing program at the Sauder School of Business and graduated last year. After her studies, Luz decided to take a year off to discover new things and volunteer in Vancouver. We're fortunate that she chose to dedicate some of her volunteering time to help out at ArtStarts!

Why did you choose to live and study in Vancouver?

I've always wanted to study aboard, that's why I did the International Baccalaureate Program in high school. My choices came down to Toronto or Vancouver and after researching the campuses of the universities I could go to, I really liked the UBC campus. I love how it is still part of the city but surrounded by nature. I had never been here before, but I think I made a good choice to move here.

Why did you choose to volunteer at ArtStarts?

I really enjoyed art in my elementary and high school years, and I like to explore new ways to express myself. In university I didn't have a chance to explore that; in my program I didn't get to take any art related courses. When I saw the posting for a position to volunteer at a place that's involved in the arts, I had the urge to try out for it because I've been missing this aspect of my life. I got so used to business-focused classes five times a week for years and I wanted to try to find creativity and arts in myself as well.

What is creativity?

For me, creativity is letting your mind be open to everything and allow it to explore ideas and possibilities without limits. It's a way of expressing yourself and what you think—and it can help solve problems. Most people think creativity is related to just arts, but you can also be creative when you have doing an assignment for school or when you travel to another country and you're finding ways of expressing yourself to people that don't speak your language.

You've been volunteering at ArtStarts for nine months now. What has been your most fulfilling moment so far?

I loved working on the annual ArtStarts Showcase and Conference because I got to design the tickets and menus for the dinner event. It was so fun, I felt like I was part of the work that was put into this huge event. I was helping at the event as well, but to be able to contribute my Photoshop skills felt great!

Is there an experience you had in school that has stuck with you?

When I was in my last year of high school I was chosen to go to Argentina with two other people in my school for the International Baccalaureate Program. We got to go to two cities in Argentina and do charity work for the Creativity, Action and Service program. We were able to visit different schools and help in any way we can by helping them fix their infrastructures or create events with activities that teach everyone about the South American region. It was great to learn about the different school systems in South America and even though we are so close together, there are major differences we all have.

Is there a piece of art that you've seen in Vancouver that you were drawn to?

Woven Chronicle by Reena Saini Kallat was this giant map displayed at this outdoor space called the Offsite Vancouver Art Gallery. It was a map with many connections being made. I loved seeing this because it made me think of the world and how much more exploration I have yet to do and the diversity that surrounds us, especially in Vancouver.

What else do you like to do in Vancouver?

When it's sunny I love going on hikes, or even walk around Vancouver to explore new coffee shops and restaurants. I like reading and learning new things. I also really like travelling so I am learning Italian and Turkish online. Cappadocia in Turkey is on the top of my list, I really want to go there and ride a hot air balloon.

What have you gained so far from your experience volunteering at ArtStarts?

I've come to understand what it’s like working as a team; I noticed that ArtStarts is like a little family. You can work and get down to business but also enjoy your time and everyone around you. I can tell it's not just a 9-5 thing and it goes beyond that and it seems that everyone loves what they are doing. You can tell everyone loves what they do here and they can transmit that positive energy to everyone. Everyone cares about what ArtStarts does, everyone contributes and I really like being a part of it, too.

Thank you, Luz!

If you are interested in volunteering with ArtStarts, please visit

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