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Paul Hillman

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The Cornerstone of a Peaceful and Tolerant society is Education, April 2014 at the Obliq Gallery.

During the month of April 2014, at the Obliq Gallery, Arizona Center, an exhibition curated by Malissa Geer in community collaboration with the Cultural Arts Coalition has given tribute to Debra Friedman’s Life and Legacy.

It was a wonderful First Friday’s opening and reception not only honoring Debra Friedman, but all of those artists who contribute to our communities through significant visual stories of human rights and social justice advocacy for ALL....

Many thanks to Larry Ortega, Obliq Gallery Owner, and his wife Sandra who opened this space to so many persons to give respect through this community collaborative art exhibit "peace of mind" a tribute to Debra Friedman's Life and Legacy. Debra was the University Vice President and Dean, College of Public Programs whose vision was to seamlessly integrate the downtown community with the new ASU Downtown University in 2006. One of those strategies was to highlight the community members and their social issues through artistic expression.

The exhibition features new works, installations, interactive arts and performances by individual artists and community organizations!

The Cultural Arts Coalition embraces the core value: the Cornerstone of a Peaceful and Tolerant Society is Education. Artistic Expression is a means of Communication and Learning how to Engage in the act of Critical Thinking and Problem solving leading to Knowledge. Paulo Freire’s philosophy and methods place an emphasis on “creating critical consciousness” through dialogue and action-based community organizing and education (Carroll & Minkler, 2000).


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.

During the 2 gallery receptions artists, their families, community activists, colleagues and ASU Administrators came to be a part of this significant community exhibition and the dialogues it promotes and supports…

Melanie Ohm and I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity to work alongside both Debra and Malissa for these many years.

In Carroll and Minkler’s (2000) Paulo Freire’s Message for Social Workers: Looking Back, Looking Ahead, the direction that facilitators of community engagement/building consider is the concept of “popular education” as a means to initiate social change through a system’s theory educational process. Dean Friedman practiced this way of human and community development through public programs’ instruction at ASU Downtown campus.

Photo narrative created by judy butzine on Easter April 20th, 2014