erick david

Giving students a break to enjoy art and music in a safe space.


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Around October at the University of Costa Rica, the semester starts getting more intense. Students begin to feel real pressure from the academic load over their lives. And it’s no secret mental health is increasingly becoming an issue for university students, but also young adults and workers across the globe.

This is why in 2019 the Student Federation came up with a special week dedicated to spreading awareness about mental health, all within the context of an arts festival on the campus. They named it “Intervalo” (later stylized as inter—valo). And they invited me to take the lead on the design and creativity side.

How can we use art to spread awareness?

The UCR is known to be home for all sorts of professionals. There’s a wide range of different talents when it comes to creatives in this institution. It’s also known for holding other similar celebrations every year, so we had to position inter—valo as a novel concept in the minds of students.

We anticipated the free concerts featuring prominent national acts to draw a lot of attention, but lots of other great activities were going to take place as well. We also knew we had to be deliberate with how we use this platform to convey safety and vulnerability about mental health awareness.

The Coziest Arts Festival

inter—valo became the place where, for a week, students could enjoy the best part of having a young spirit. People brought their friends to watch plays, dance in concerts, contemplate art, and have a calm moment; artists and attendees interacted closely and everyone enjoyed the inflatables.

We really appreciated their commitment and openness with the project. Their contribution exceeded our expectations.
Óscar Mora—head of production

Both up-and-coming artists and the already popular acts had a spotlight. Participants promoted the event on their social profiles with the custom press kit we designed for every one of them. Artists had a voice to talk about how their craft relates to their lives and mindset. We spread the word about the event on social media and around the campus weeks prior and covered highlights of the activities in real-time. People anonymously vented whatever they wanted through the space we opened.

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