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Mission and Goals

Guiding Practices


Peace Event



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Paul Hillman

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Review of the Cultural Arts Coalition’s performance and reception at the Fair Trade Café on Friday, March 6th during Art Detour.

"Coffee With A Conscience", 1020 North 1st Ave , Phoenix, AZ 85003 – the community values the commitment by Michele White, Café owner and manager, to provide a safe place for persons to examine and explore community issues of social justice and civil rights through artistic expression.

“Migration: Immigration, Giving Honor to Latina(o) Cultures and Communities”
A colleague, Kathryn Coe, from U of A shares, “…DNA studies verify that everyone living today shares a common distant ancestor. All of us have ancestors who were migrants. The journeys of our ancestors can often be read in our DNA profile. Over time, the paths of migration moving away, and then folding back, have led to a significant mixing not only of DNA, but also of cultures…” This statement frames the dialogue around the significant artworks contributed to this exhibition while honoring the human story of migration as a natural process.

Mono Print by Martin MorenoPainting by Luis Gutierrez

The Cultural Arts Coalition’s intention is that these artistic expressions will call upon our humane need to dialog, to create conversations and therein to promote shared understanding- causing us to pause for meaningful discussions in a public space around critical issues and public policies.

The evening’s musical entertainment was provided by Carmen DeNovais, who excels in music, plastic arts, theater production, and is an arts advocate. Carmen and her husband, Zarco Guerrero, are local, influential fixtures in the Arizona and the Southwest arts scene.

The CAC also featured Stella Pope-Duarte, reading from her books and poems. Stella Pope-Duarte is the Arizona award-winning Chicana writer and author of Fragile Night, Let Their Spirits Dance, and The Women of Juarez.

by Stella Pope Duarte
I’m not the enemy you seek
on the hills of Afghanistan,
or Pakistan, Iran, or Iraq.
I got nothing to do with those places.
They’re not the enemy either;
the enemy of peace, is anyone who’s
committed to hate.
I’m from here, on this land where my
ancestors were born,
thousands of years ago,
I’ve known no other, only this part of the world.
El desierto de Sonora, la Sierra Madre Mountains,
El Gran Cañon, that you call The Grand Canyon
and el Rio Bravo, that you call El Rio Grande.
It’s all the same to me, I’ve known no other.
Santa Maria de Los Angeles that you call L.A that’s where my
Tata was born, and his Tata,
and before him, his Indio grandfather,
a relative of Geronimo’s, and before him
the ancient tribes that roamed this continent were my relatives,
los Toltec, Ananzi, Hohokam, y Pima.
Todos, everyone belonged to the land, not the land to them,
They didn’t own it, they didn’t sell it, they didn’t buy it,
until men came from the East, speaking English, with papers
sealed by their judges, saying all the land was theirs, from
the Atlantic to the Pacific…”Manifest Destiny,” and they took
it all in God’s name, driving out my ancestors, Tatas and Nanas,
to places where rattle snakes couldn’t make a living.
Still, we lived on, wrestling with fate, with arid lands,
in barrios no white man would visit, raising our familias,
taking care of our old people, making the earth under our feet fertile.
We knew how to plant, harvest, herd cattle, tame wild horses.
We gave to the land, guarded it, protected it for our children.
And we lived on through discrimination, through people hating
the brown skin we were born with, and the Spanish we spoke.
We saluted the flag, we sent our kids to school, we served
bravely in every war, and we claimed,
Yes, America, the Land
of the Free, was ours too.
I’ve known no other. When you tell me to go home, my ears
hear you, but my heart doesn’t understand.
I’m not the enemy you seek
on the hills of Afghanistan,
or Pakistan, Iran, or Iraq,
I got nothing to do with those places.
They’re not the enemy either;
the enemy of peace is anyone who’s
committed to hate.
I’m from here, on this land where my
ancestors were born.
I too, am American.

Stella’s and Carmen’s artistic contributions to the evening are a compliment to the ongoing theme of the CAC's work in community for the past year. Within safe places dialogues have been created honoring and respecting the values, ideas and beliefs woven into the fabric of our evolving Arizona culture by persons who have migrated to this state.

Individuals from all walks of life and ages were available throughout the evening to enjoy the artworks and Stella’s readings along with the lively Latina music played by Carmen.

Art by Joe Ray and Ida Katherine Graver

Participants of the Cultural Arts Coalition are thankful for collaborations with persons like Malissa Geer who first introduced us to Michele White and this environment of social entrepreneurship that benefits many in the community.

Photos in Guadalupe
by Kristin Elise Fukuchi
Painting by Vicent Acosta,

The artists in the community meet to network & support one another’s work.

Huicholes yarn paintings hang next to a youth’s mural from a Boys & Girls Club

Carmen talks: Congratulations!

A big congrats to Mesa native and long time MAHC member, Zarco Guerrero, who was honored with the Outstanding Latino/a Cultural Award in Fine and Performing Arts from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education. This award has been established to recognize Latinos and Latinas who have contributed significantly to our understanding of Hispanic community and/or culture through arts.

Participants of the Cultural Arts Coalition thank their Board of Directors and everyone in the community for their support and contributions to this event and others in the community. Without your participation this kind of programming would be impossible.

Review by judy butzine and Melanie Ohm--March 11, 2009 Gracias to ALL!

Permission given by artist Quetzal Guerrero, son of Carmen DeNovais and Zarco Guerrero. The Acoustic Album is a compilation of Quetzal's own original compositions along with songs from various artists that have influenced him throughout the years. Many of the songs tell a story about different chapters of his journey in life.