This is an educational and interactive Community
Please feel free to download any information that may benefit a community arts program in your area. We would love your input...


Mission and Goals

Guiding Practices


Peace Event



Click on images to see a larger version.

Pages Created by:
Paul Hillman

04854 hits
since 07/21/2008

Migration: Community Dialog and Visual Expression
Structural Meeting with
Cultural Arts Coalition: celebrating global connections Participants
June 25, 2008, Fair Trade Café, Phoenix

  • Session began late due to interacting with café patrons already enjoying conversations: Kimber Lanning, Marilu Knode and Bruce from ASU Future Arts Research Center with visiting gallery owner and community program director in Cairo, Egypt, William Wells.

Fernando Burman from Laborers’ International Union of North America

Kimber Lanning meets Dr. Bill Simmons, ASU West campus

Melanie Ohm, CAC co-founder and co-director,
began the program of discussion around the Western Governors’ Association Policy of Resolution

Review Western Governors’ Association (WGA)
Policy Resolution 2006-01

U.S-Mexico Border Security and Illegal Immigration

  • Document Points 1-14 (Note document at the end of this review)
  • Identify on index card 2-3 points that have the strongest immediate emotional and intellectual impact


  • Intros: Name and Organization, what you most want to know by the end of the hour together

Fernando Burman, Dr. Bill Simmons and Robert Miley (Release the Fear, Inc.)

Dr. William Simmons discussed the Border Justice Symposium that will be occurring at ASU West for the 6th year on a variety of topics during this multifaceted event including public art. The program will occur March 30-April 1st, 2009.

Fernando Burman distributed information in Spanish and English that is being disseminated in the community giving immigrants information on their rights. He also talked about the sweep by Sheriff Joe’s office that is planned for the next day in Mesa and the important role the organization he works with holds in the community during this time to protect citizens’ rights.

Robert Miley, artist/educator discussed his curriculum of Release the Fear implemented with groups of all ages, primarily in school settings; and how the arts provide a means to access one’s imagination and creatively solve issues of daily life.


Marcelino Quiñónez: community activist, teacher, actor and playwright/director of theater for social change listens to Dr. Kathryn Coe as she discusses her role in the community as an anthropologist, professor and author. Kathryn talked about her book the Ancestress Hypothesis: Visual Arts as Adaptation and how the visual arts are a reflection of our society since the beginning of human history: What is right and what is wrong.

By providing stories through visual arts expression with factual content attached to discussions that present the information underlying the "Fears Many Are Experiencing" with the issue of immigrating then a process of mediation can occur. Also by dispelling certain immigration myths that are researched by the Pew Research Center: ( March 30, 2006 "America's Immigration Quandary: No Consensus on Immigration Problem or Proposed Fixes" additional information can be accurately presented to citizens.)

The Cultural Arts Coalition ( is proposing 3 public exhibitions to be presented at ASU West, ASU Downtown campuses and the Fair Trade Café beginning January 2009, to promote artists/researchers/viewer interaction that will be interpreted/recorded and published through a proposed grant with the Arizona Humanities Council. Dr. Kathryn Coe will be the primary scholar to direct the recording and interpretation of this information.

Human Migration: Definition
Human migration
denotes any movement by humans from one locality to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Humans are known to have migrated extensively throughout history and prehistory. The movement of populations in modern times has continued under the form of both voluntary migration within one's region, country, or beyond, and involuntary migration (which includes the slave trade, trafficking in human beings and ethnic cleansing). People who migrate are called migrants, or, more specifically, emigrants, immigrants or settlers, depending on historical setting, circumstances and perspective.


Oil painting by Góñez (24" X 8"), purchased in Mexico City, 1965, at a street market.

Why use the WGA Policy Statement as a point of focus for conversation on this issue? Because it is a bipartisan connection to a policy-making vehicle that looks to find solutions rather than create divisions (invites reason) leading to immigration reform. This literature is an already existing credible document and connection to something that is currently in place:
1. Arts : Culture
2. Communications : Media
3. Energy : Food : Water
4. Economics : Business
5. Environment : Infrastructure
6. Governance : Law
7. Health : Wellness
8. Learning : Education
9. Relationships : Empowerment
10. Science : Technology
11. Social Justice : Security
12. Spirituality : Religion
Healthy change only happens when the whole system is in the room. Concept originally discussed in public by Annie Loyd when running for U.S. Congress

The CAC will also provide a cross-pollination of activities amongst all artists, educators, activists and policymakers. Example: Zarco Guerrero’s Face 2 Face in a Frenzyperformance juxtaposed with the opposite side of immigration issues – theatre experiences engaging community dialog.


10:40 – 10:55

  • Small groups or one on one – share personal stories on migration, then identify themes
  • Share back with the larger group

What are the powerful ideas around this critical inquiry process?
Sharon Stetter, former gallery owner now living in Bisbee, and Sarah Kuzinowski, music educator and community arts engagement activist identified one theme.
***definition of systemic issues: not just who we are, but what we do
***clarity of misconceptions and misrepresentations on both sides of issue
***unravel personal fears and seek to protect against personal intimidation
***responsibility to present the historical context of the issue of migration
***address the global picture of this story, not just local
***focus on the due process of law for civil justice
***competing values and human rights
***utilize the arts, cultural (value ideas and beliefs) in a means of education
***address the concept of xenophobia
***explain the natural process of migration
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." ~ Aldo Leopold

10:55 – 11:05
We each have a VISION and a VOICE:

How can we engage arts and humanities experiences around our individual and combined work?
How do you want to be involved?
How do we engage kids and youth?
How do we move from the specific to the universal idea?

These are all our challenges!

Jim and Melanie discuss the artwork and activism of Jim as he works within the greater Phoenix community.

Jim Covarrubias, Artist, film maker and board member of ALAC (Arizona Latina(o) Arts & Culture Consortium) was present and stated, "If you stand by and just watch what is happening around you then you are not a source of potential inspiration to solve the problems addressed today. Your involvement in this critical issue could be the most important work you do."

judy butzine, co-founder and co-director of the CAC, wrap up.

From this introductory session to the work the Cultural Arts Coalition plans to move forward next year, collaborations MUST occur.

Marcelino will go to Dr. Coe’s university classroom to discuss his work and to learn more of what Dr. Coe does in the community. One of Marcelino’s revelations from the meeting of the day was that he MUST present "BOTH Sides of the Story" to be a true educator.

Robert Miley plans to work with Marcelino in the charter school where Marcelino teaches to bring a "Story of Possibilities Through Color"that Robert has created with youth. He will also make contact with Dr. Simmons.

Sharon reconnects with Jim.

Sharon Stetter will return to Bisbee and find a border patrol guard who might convey his/her story through visual arts expression. She also plans to introduce this theme to professional artists living in Bisbee.

Fernando will work with Malissa Geer, ASU Downtown campus community liaison coordinator, and Dr. Simmons at ASU West campus.

Malissa will also pursue bringing the installation created through the work of Marco Albarran (Calaca) to ASU Downtown campus in March and April of 2009.

Installation shown here last year at ASU West during the Border Justice symposium coordinated by Dr. Simmons in April 2008.


*****Hi All, It was a pleasure to meet many of you yesterday and good to revisit with others. I just recieved this email from a friend of mine. You may have already seen it, if not, please read, watch the clip and read the comments...we must respond and through the arts may very well be that venue as a start to a civil dialogue.
Malissa Geer

******Malissa saw "Neighbors say SWAT pointed guns at kids in Mesa" on and thought you'd be interested in it too.

Article Link:
article: Neighbors say SWAT pointed guns at kids in Mesa

*****To see more stories please visit


Jim Covarrubias will be working with ALAC on all aspects discussed at this public participation process.

Black and white artwork at the top created by Jim at a community protest between Latina(o)s and Anglos in a confrontation over the concept of undocumented immigration and the rights of those persons caught in Arizona in this struggle for civil rights and due process of law.

Melanie Ohm and judy butzine, co-directors of the Cultural Arts Coalition, will seek the money and continue to design the programming to be implemented that will support and promote these conversations during the coming year 2008-2009.

During the good byes an introduction was made by Kimber Lanning to the new Director of the Arizona Humanities Council Herb Paine. Judy had recently been e-mailing Herb to seek funding and to determine granting opportunities/criteria for this upcoming overarching project.

Being at the Fair Trade Care provided a wonderful space for this kind of dialogue and energy that promoted fruitful discussion. Participants of the CAC would like to thank Michele White, MSW, Fair Trade Café owner, for all the work she does in our community through providing this "Safe Sense of Place" that engages persons in thoughtful and meaningful communication.

CAC co-directors would like to thank everyone for their participation in this civic discourse. judy butzine

The Mission of the Cultural Arts Coalition: celebrating global connections, Arizona: 501 (c) 3
Identifying, supporting, promoting, celebrating, and documenting those community arts practices that stimulate social awareness and honor diverse cultural values, and develop the critical thinking skills necessary to be creative and solve problems. As a networking group, the coalition strives to provide a safe place for persons of all ages and backgrounds to gather and achieve a sense of belonging and respect within a larger community and to explore arts-related skills in a facilitated environment.

The Goals of the Cultural Arts Coalition are to:

  • Provide spaces and opportunities for persons to engage in dialogue, experiences, and research that expand the definition and understanding of the role of the arts in enriching our daily lives in community and academic settings

The next scheduled CAC planning meeting will be on Tuesday, August 5th, at ASU West Campus, 10:00. The campus is located at 47th Avenue and Thunderbird. From Thunderbird, turn left at 47th in to the main entrance of campus. Turn right and follow the signs to visitor parking. The visitor parking lot is right behind the Welcome Center (marked WC on this campus map: We are in the UCB building which is the large building directly south of the visitor parking. If folks have trouble finding the place, they can call my cell at 480.335.5375. Dr. Simmons


Artwork on view at Aguila Hispanic Youth Symposium, July 16 - July 19, 2008

Western Governors’ Association
Policy Resolution 2006-01

U.S-Mexico Border Security and Illegal Immigration


The bilateral economic relationship with Mexico is vital to the United States. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has been in effect since 1994, is emblematic of the relationship. In bilateral trade, Mexico is the United States' second most important trading partner, while the United States is Mexico’s most important trading partner. The U.S. is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Mexico. These links are critical to many U.S. industries and all the border communities in Western states.

The deepening economic, historic and long-term social ties between Mexico and the U.S. have resulted in hundreds of millions of legal crossings every year along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S.-Mexico border also experiences more legal and illegal crossings than any other border in the world. Over a million people cross the border illegally each year, most of whom are of Mexican origin, with a growing percentage coming from countries other than Mexico.

Large segments of the border are either left unguarded or have for many years been staffed with an insufficient number of U.S. Border Patrol agents.

As a result of the shared border and proximity to Mexico, Western states of the continental United States suffer a disproportionate financial burden on health care, education, the environment and criminal justice systems because of unauthorized migration from Mexico. Illegal immigration, however, is not solely a Western issue. It impacts the economy of the entire nation.

In addition to the economic impacts, illegal border crossings affect our national security. Drug dealers and terrorists cross our borders along with individuals searching for economic opportunity. Securing our southern border is essential to protecting public safety, and must go hand-in-hand with any effort to address the economic and humanitarian consequences associated with illegal immigration

Because border control measures have increased in recent years, so has the use of human trafficking networks, resulting in more violent crimes along the border, a dramatic uptick in assaults on law enforcement, and overwhelmed state and local criminal justice and correctional systems.

As a result of federal requirements to treat indigent illegal immigrants needing emergency care, many hospitals in Western states have lost millions of dollars to unpaid bills.

Because U.S. Border Patrol activity is concentrated around larger border cities, the flow of illegal immigrants is diverted into rural mountainous and desert areas. A tragic and growing number of deaths of migrants are occurring in remote, often uninhabited, desert areas. More than 300 migrant deaths occurred each year along the U.S.-Mexico border in the years 2001-2003.

Many of those seeking economic betterment in the U.S. attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border with their families and/or small children in tow. The risk of death, injury or criminal exploitation during this undertaking is high for adults and even more so when families and children are involved. Detention facilities in the U.S. for immigrants apprehended for attempting to enter illegally may also subject families and children to criminal exploitation by others detained.

Should these individuals reach the U.S., they may require assistance to fully participate as residents. When an immigrant arrives in the U.S., they face many anticipated and unanticipated challenges. These can include language barriers, difficulty navigating the current visa system, establishing a residence, getting children enrolled in school and finding employment.

The increased volume of illegal immigrant traffic into rural mountainous and desert areas along the border has also led to the severe degradation of forests, grasslands and waterways through increased trash and carving of new roads and paths. Environmental destruction has occurred across the landscape adversely impacting national monuments and wildlife refuges, which have long-been recognized as needing special protection. Not only federal, but state, private and tribal lands have been damaged as well.

Unauthorized immigration also impacts the ability of large landowners, particularly ranchers, to carry out their livelihood. They now need to allocate resources to collect waste left by migrants, repair fences cut to assist crossings, and restore habitats degraded by immigrants and border patrol.

Agriculture historically and currently plays a pivotal role in Western state economies. It is a seasonal industry that has become heavily dependent upon a stable and reliable foreign labor pool. To the detriment of our nation’s food production, our current immigration law addresses neither documented U.S. labor shortages nor marketplace dynamics. Without a lawful avenue to provide seasonal employees, current law encourages continued unlawful migration to the U.S.