The You Will Rise Project, an organizational initiative aimed at stopping bullying across the US through the use of multimedia art, started by two artists, Linda Regula and Paul Richmond, who themselves were subject to the trauma of bullying.
The project is currently collaborating with the California-based Open Ground Studios for the Art Against Bullying program, a series of art events and exhibitions across the Monterey Peninsula, aimed at raising awareness about bullying as well as providing victims an outlet for their experiences.
Richmond stated that it might be impossible for the You Will Rise Project to stop bullying altogether, but that, through initiatives such as this, they can teach kids that bullying does not need to define their personalities; it doesn’t need to have such an impact on their lives.
Richmond, aged 37, hails from Columbus, Ohio, and was responsible for bringing the YWR Project to the Monterey Peninsula. He co-founded the You Will Rise Project with Linda Regula, who acted as his art instructor during his youth. The idea came to the two of them after a discussion about bullying and teen suicide, and the Project followed soon after, founded in 2011.
He migrated to the peninsula sometime in 2016 with his husband, and it was then that he discovered Open Ground Studios in the Seaside, California area, which operates as both a Custom Art studio, as well as an art education institution, and is run by Dense Sanders.
Richmond has stated in the past that it is important to remain in contact with students that have gone through the You Will Rise Project workshops to check on their well-being, provide motivation, and simply ensure that whatever lessons they learned about themselves stick. He adds that it’s important for them to realize that they need to be nurtured, to be themselves and seek out their own happiness, in spite of their experiences.
The Art Against Bullying program will include Pieced Together, a community Custom Art installation that uses puzzle pieces submitted by community members, with the pieces representing a unique aspect of themselves. This installation was unveiled on the 8th of September alongside other works from Richmond.
Other events at Open Ground Studios include an Artist Open Studio, Art Against Bullying Workshops which feature 5 artist mentors, both local and visiting, as well as a Pop-Up Exhibition.