South Phoenix residents organize to reclaim, transform Circle K Park

Beneath the shadow of South Mountain, teeming with the greenery of early spring, the songs of a mariachi band echoed alongside the smell of fresh fry bread, a gallery of vivid skateboard designs — from swirling rainbows to the Arizona state flag — hanging from tree trunks and the joyful chatter of children sharing their excitement over coloring pages and crafts.

Dozens of youth artists and community organizers met Saturday to begin the renewal of Circle K Park through a celebration of culture, art and the community’s autonomy over its future.

The fifth annual Forever Rising Young Artists Exhibition hosted by the Sagrado, an art gallery in south Phoenix that seeks to empower the community through art and design, expanded this year into a festival, an effort to help make the park a community space. The exhibition nurtures entrepreneurship for young artists and their vision for the world they want to live in.

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