"Artist Memorial for Immigrants"
Coordinated by Marcelino Quiñónez Martinez
Bronze of Cesar Chavez created by Zarco Guerrero, Cultural Arts Coalition particpant
One of the plagues of all Border States is Immigration and the dangers immigrants face in
their attempt to better their lives. As a local Theatre Artist and immigrant, I feel it is
my responsibility to educate people using Art. The following is my project abstract for an
event that creates awareness in a way that does not turn people away with numbers, but
humanizes the immigrants through art.
On October 1, 2006 the third annual "Artist Memorial for Immigrants" took place at Cesar
Chavez Park in south Phoenix. The event was open to the public, free of charge and featured
paintings, actors, dancers, solo performers, poets, educational staff from The Bead Museum
and activists. Every artist was present for one reason: to pay homage through their art to
the immigrants who die each year.
The entire event is put on with the most minimal of budgets, which symbolically reflects
the immigrant's journey. No one received a single cent in putting the event together; including
the artists or sound system operator. What I did have was a wonderful, insightful and supportive
team to get the event on its feet. James Garcia, a longtime journalist and ASU Alumni served as
my mentor. Jose Cortez from CPLC and radio DJ gave me air time and ran the sound. Jennifer
Ballesteros, a freelance writer contacted the local media.
(Marcelino Quiñonez Martinez's role in the community is as the Drama teacher for "at risk"
youth in northwest Phoenix (Colores Actors-Writers Workshop) and the coordinator for "Artist
Memorial for Immigrants.")
Phone and/or email: 602-574-9207 email@example.com
Marcelino introduces event
The Cultural Arts Coalition asked these questions of Marcelino:
How do you define Community Arts and Cultural Engagement?
I define Community Arts in a very simple way. A gathering of many people from the same
living area who together combine their ideas, feelings and worries to create art: theatre,
dance, storytelling, painting, dialogue, ect. The Cultural engagement aspect of art stems
from the art work itself. Because the community of people who are making the art, share
other similarities as language, religion, world visions, economic-social standing- their
art will be representative of their audience. This audience is unaccustomed to their lives
being represented in art and for the first time is engaged in the art process.
Program Title: "Artist Memorial for Immigrants" event described above.
Musicians came from Tucson to support this event and dialog on this community theme.
Reviewing the one page attached "Nine Guiding Principles for Community Arts,"
how does your community arts work utilize these concepts within your programming?
Although the event can very well encompass all nine practices for community arts,
I will focus the event on the five most relevant principals.
Practice One: Participant Centered and Inclusive of All Ages and People.
This is my community and I am directing the arts event towards them.
Practice Two: Issue or Theme Driven.
The art deals with the immigration theme, one that is prevalent today in our country and elsewhere in the world. More than people abandoning their homes and moving elsewhere is the question of why would people do this? Immigration is therefore not just about moving to another country but fundamentally is about the desire to improve one's life.
Calaca Cultural Center artists participate with the Cultural Arts Coalition as well.
Practice Three: Experiential and Expressive.
The types of artistic expression for the day were both traditional and experimental.
The purposefulness of focus was on communicating the artists' ideas about immigration
in ways that were both familiar and abstract. This modality of communication occurred
in many ways, expressing multiple points of view to the participant in ways they may
not have experienced before.
Practice Six: Social, Collaborative and Democratic.
Practice six is the sole reason for my event.
The programming encouraged and promoted learning in a social-cultural context,
preferring cooperative over competitive approaches to achieving goals and creating
a shared space for meaningful work with a collective purpose. It is about
understanding self in relation to others and community.
Educational staff from The Bead Museum support & promote the work of the CAC.
Here event visitors create beaded forms in memory of loved ones.
Tenemos Que Mantener Viva La Tradicion! We must keep the traditions alive!
Practice Eight: Relationship Oriented.
I know the event built relationships that are both literal and figurative. It is my
contention that people following this kind of performance want to build a relationship
not only with the immigrants here in our state but will develop compassion for those
far away. The performance arts seen had been rehearsed and worked on for weeks, but
the importance is not on the product but rather the purpose for the art work itself:
The inspiration that developed the work, the process of the total experience and the
reflection by the participants as to the significance and meaning of this kind of
dialog concerning a very thoughtful subject.
Traditional art as a means of communication along with expressive & experiential.
It has already been determined that this event will occur again next year.
What types of assessment tools did you use, and in what way?
In my assessment of the event I spoke with my immediate mentor, James Garcia. I saved
every e-mail that dealt with the event, from which I received encouraging words and praise.
Photographer Mike Maez took pictures
through the event and a local documentary film maker took footage as well. These documents
have served in presenting the event to people or scholarship opportunities.
What gives you a feeling of satisfaction in the work you do in community settings
once you complete a program? And how do you know you've been successful?
There are many way to measure a sense of satisfaction after I have completed art in
a community setting. The obvious example is the on-site gratitude from the audience
members. It could be a simple "thank you" or an in-depth story about an art piece
reminding them about a particular moment in his/her life.
Prior to the end of the event in 2006, I had all the artists participating in the
event walk up to me and ask to participate in Artist Memorial for Immigrants 2007.
This was the greatest satisfaction I could receive. These comments were from fellow
artists, who were inspired by my actions.
Artist Juan Olalde, Arte de Nuestras Raices
Provide a 100-word biography:
Marcelino Quiñonez was born in Durango, Mexico. The oldest of five siblings,
he grew up in San Jose, California and at 13 moved to Phoenix, Arizona. He is
an undergraduate student at ASU majoring in Theatre and a minor in Chicana/o
Studies. Marcelino has been involved in stage plays with companies Teatro Bravo,
Colores and ASU. This past March, Marcelino took part in "Voices of Valor" by
James Garcia at Gammage Auditorium. The play chronicled the Latino's WWII
experience. It was a special way to cover Marcelino's two passions; theater
and his community. He is a drama teacher for TERROS.
Phone and/or email: 602-574-9207 firstname.lastname@example.org