William Estrada was born to immigrant parents and grew up assembling memories in California, Mexico, and Chicago. His teaching and art making practice focus on exploring inequity, migration, historical passivity, cultural recognition, self-preservation and media representation in marginalized communities. He documents and engages experiences in public spaces to transform, question, and make connections to established and organic systems through discussion, creation, and promotion of counter narratives. He has worked as an educator and artist with Telpochcalli Elementary, Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, Hyde Park Art Center, SkyArt, Marwen Foundation, Urban Gateways, DePaul University’s College Connect Program, Graffiti Institute, Vermont College of Art and Design, Prison + Neighborhood Art Project and The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
William’s art and teaching is a collaborative discourse of existing images, text, and politics that appoints the audience to critically re-examine public and private spaces. As a teacher, artist, cultural worker, and urban anthropologist he reports, records, reveals, and amplifies experiences you find in academic books, school halls, teacher lounges, kitchen tables, barrios, college campuses, and in the conversations of close friends to engage in radical imagination.
William has presented in various panels regarding community programming, arts integration, and social justice curricula through the Illinois Art Education Association, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Humanities Council, Smart Museum of Art, the National Guild of Schools in the Arts, National Art Education Association, Teachers for Social Justice San Francisco, Iowa University, Grand View University and Illinois State University. In 2016 he was awarded the Teaching Artist Community Award from 3Arts Chicago.
His current research is focused on developing community based and culturally relevant programs that center power structures of race, economy, and cultural access in contested spaces.