When it comes to activism, immigrant communities and people of color are making their voices heard with a resounding roar. In the arts world, those voices have long been muffled by the establishment.
But this fall in Arizona, immigrants, women and creatives of color will pick up the proverbial megaphone with a series of intriguing events. Mark your calendars:
September 7 – 25 (Borderlands Theatre, Tucson)
November 5 – 6 (Mesa Arts Center, Mesa)
“Nogales” investigates the real story behind the 2012 killing of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was shot 15 times by border patrol. The performance blends original text, theatre, art installations, mask, and community engagement.
Arizona State University’s Performance in the Borderlands kicks off its “Voices of Power” season with a performance from Grammy Award-winning singer Martha Gonzales. Through her music and community workshops in Los Angeles, the “artivista” and her band, Quetzal, have helped underserved populations gain access to healthcare and education. The event will feature a music demo and panel discussion exploring racial justice, feminism, LGBTQ rights, indigenous representation, and more.
Ana Teresa Fernández, Oasis
Ana Teresa Fernández will reveal “Oasis,” her site-specific installation musing on land displacement, immigration, and water usage in the desert. Fernández is best known for her project that “disappeared” the border wall by painting it sky blue (below). Arizona artists including Raji Ganesan, Leah Marche, and Liliana Gomez will perform at the installation, located at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area and sponsored by Performance in the Borderlands.
Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta
September 24 – December 31
The ASU Art Museum will showcase the work of Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta in “Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta.” The exhibit uses performance, body art and film to explore issues of gender, race, ancient cultures and belonging. It will be organized in conjunction with installations from Ana Teresa Fernández, Kate Gilmore, Simone Leigh, Gina Osterloh and Antonia Wright.
Rita Indiana, Calexico, and Josh Kun
CALA Alliance is bringing together Dominican-born writer/composer/artist Rita Indiana, Tucson band Calexico, and writer Josh Kun for an exciting evening at Phoenix’s Crescent Ballroom. The artists will perform and tell stories about cultural heritage, the borders of identity, and how everyday people thrive in precarious conditions.
Margarita Cabrera, Space in Between – Arizona
October 7 – February 12
The Desert Botanical Garden will present “Space in Between – Arizona,” from Margarita Cabrera, who works with Latino communities to create art promoting dialogues about craft, immigration, cultural identity, labor practices and sustainability.
Kehinde Wiley, A New Republic
October 7 – January 8
Celebrating African-Americans through paintings that recall 18th-century aristocratic portraits, Kehinde Wiley has emerged as one of the country’s most prominent and provocative artists. The Phoenix Art Museum will launch the exhibit on October 7 with an event featuring music from DJENTRIFICATION, Arizona Opera, Maryvale High School Marching band and Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra.
Yadira de la Riva
October 16 – 29
Performance in the Borderlands’ Binational Arts Residency brings performance artist Yadira de la Riva to Arizona and Northern Mexico for a series of events celebrating theater as a tool for social engagement. Events include:
Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Phoenix Hostel & Cultural Center
Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.: Public show “One Journey” at Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area
Oct. 21 at 5 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Galiano’s Cafe in Douglas
Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.: Public show “One Journey” at the Border Crossing Fence, Agua Prieta
Horacio Zabala: Mapping the Monochrome
October 19 – March 12
The Phoenix Art Museum presents maps, monochromes, and sculptures from Horacio Zabala, an Argentinian artist and refugee. His works speak out against repressive military dictatorships that have sparked socio-political turmoil in Latin America.
International artists reinvent Spain’s most famous dance form with “Lluvia Flamenca,” held at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, in conjunction with Performance in the Borderlands and Flamenco Por La Vida.