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ASU West Border Justice Events March 24th-26th

The arts as a means of communication in public spaces concerning issues of shared human concerns!

ASU West campus Border Justice Program March 24th-26th

Canvas created by Francisco Garcia for the public events on the ASU West campus plaza

There was an editorial in the Arizona Republic, "Immigrant Faces are Human Faces". It is a positive reference to the Border Justice Program at ASU West campus and the quote by Dr. Michelle Tellez, professor of Gender and Family Justice studies-"If People can come to understand the face of immigration, then people will perhaps have more compassion."

The Cultural Arts Coalition staff was invited into Tellez's classroom on Tuesday evening to facilitate a poster making activity that will engage and inform the ASU West student body of the activities happening on campus and at Phoenix Civic Park on "Border Justice" during the next 4 days.

Dulce Juarez and Silvia Rodriguez were both present to present their stories as individuals caught in the confusing legislation of "Dream Act". Both are honors graduate students, yet cannot secure jobs in our state.

Many artworks were mounted and on display to reinforce the values, ideas and beliefs of the Latina(o) culture that enrich the lives of all of us in the United States. Awareness of the metaphors behind these paintings and images is essential if one is to communicate effectively with cultural understanding concerning the complexities and values this culture presents to the viewer.

The creating of a communicative poster through artistic expression is explained as a process of "Vision Mapping". This collage-making workshop illustrates how the arts can create a safe space to engage ideas, values and community concerns in a planning dialogue to initiate change. The act of creating a collage together highlights visual elements and ideas that represent our use of symbolic language, our cultural orientation, and our values. It is both personal and communal. Dialogue about randomly selected symbolic metaphors is part of a shared learning process that can build a sense of common goals and objectives.

This creative activity supports an egalitarian means of communication amongst participants.

One of the graduate students who invited the CAC to participate discovered that there is a connection through a person these 3 all know.

Latina(o) music was continuously being played in the background during this activity. - Quetzal Guerrero

Persons circulated and spoke with one another also enjoying the stories of the artists whose paintings were exhibited.

  • Tlisza Jaurique's art works have hung in various national galleries and been exhibited in many public spaces. They stimulate thoughtful dialogue as symbols representational of stories about values, ideas and beliefs that sustain a culture of individuals. They do not represent a religious orientation; instead they are symbols of universal archetypes.
  • There were so many diverse personal perspectives in the creation process of preparing these posters.

    Why is art an integral component to our humanity? It is our written and visual language that defines our being. Art is the earliest recorder of history and our tracker of human consciousness. Art is a language whose definitions are dependent on the artist and social history. Art provides alternative metaphors of reality by communicating other definitions of and for existence.

    Each thoughtfully created poster greeted the ASU West campus student body this morning.

    This year's event is spread over three days and two ASU campuses, giving it a new prominence and greater reach. The dates are March 24 and 25 on the West campus, while the Civic Space Park by the Downtown Phoenix campus will host performances and community education activities on March 27. The event is part of classroom coursework in the Master's in Social Justice and Human Rights degree program offered by the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

    There is power in the arts to communicate profound messages that Examine and Explore our shared Human Concerns.

    We believe that the voices/experiences of those marginalized, when presented through public art, theatre, or testimonies, can serve as a shock that interrupts hegemonic discourses, if even for a moment. Similar effects occur when students and participants interact in an in-depth, patient way through poster sessions, art workshops, and interactive exhibitions. Dr. William Simmons, ASU West campus Graduate program in Social Justice and Human Rights

    All events over the four days were free and open to the public. Included on the West campus schedule of events were an art exhibit, panel discussions, plenary speakers and a performance of "Tears of Lives" by the New Carpa Theatre Company under the direction of ASU faculty member James Garcia, who also wrote the play.

    Report prepared by judy butzine
    Cultural Arts Coalition

    The Mission of the Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona: 501 (c) 3, a nonpartisan organization in existence since 2005: stimulates creative, analytical and leadership development for personal transformation and collective change through celebrations and multidisciplinary learning experiences.