An upcoming Patagonia exhibit of artwork by refugee children has been expanded to include a 10-day series of events. Organizers hope that these events, called “Leaving Home: Migration Through the Eyes of Children.” will bring greater understanding of the current immigrant experience in the Borderlands.
The series revolves around “Hope and Healing: The Art of Asylum,” a traveling art exhibit, showing at Cady Hall in Patagonia March 13- 21. The exhibit features drawings by children of migrant families stopping over at Casa Alitas shelter in Tucson. The children’s works show vibrant images of home, family, and pets, and portray their journeys of fear, longing, and hope.
The show’s opening reception will be March 12, 5 to 8 p.m. Valarie James, the exhibit’s curator, will speak at 6 p.m. The exhibit will be open March 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Docents will be on hand to provide information. Local school groups will visit as well, participating in interactive lessons about empathy and belonging.
On Sunday, March 15 at 1 p.m., Patagonia Town Park will be the site of “A Celebration of the Human Family.” Residents, students, and visitors are invited to come together to share music, poetry and reflections.
The award-winning documentary, “The Other Side of Immigration,” will be shown at the Tin Shed Theater in Patagonia on March 17 at 6 p.m. The film explores the complex reasons why people leave the Mexican countryside for the U.S. and what happens to those they leave behind.
A concert featuring P.D. Ronstadt and The Company, and John Coinman and Blair Forward will take place at La Misión de San Miguel on McKeown Avenue in Patagonia on Saturday, March 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Voices from the Border, the presenting sponsor of the “Leaving Home” series.
‘Voices’ is a nonprofit organization based in Patagonia that provides humanitarian aid, medical aid and support to migrants, asylum seekers and those living in extreme poverty in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Funds raised will be used to benefit the children of asylum-seekers.
Other events include a display at the Gathering Grounds of artists’ portraits of orphaned youth in Nogales, Sonora, beginning March 13. Global Arts Gallery will be selling embroidery by women of the Bordando Esperanza project in Nogales, Sonora. Todd Miller, author of “Empire of Borders,” will share insights about recent changes on the border at the Patagonia Library on Saturday, March 21 at 10:30 a.m.
India Aubry, one of the organizers, reflected, “It has been heartwarming and exciting to see the compassion, creativity and enthusiasm of local people who are embracing and participating in this project.
Organizers would like to thank the following organizations: Voices from the Border, Patagonia Creative Arts Association, Patagonia Library, Gathering Grounds, Velvet Elvis, Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center, Global Arts Gallery, No More Deaths, and Borderlands Restoration Network.