The community imagined it, help us create it!
Immigrant Welcoming Arts and Healing Center
The Immigrant Welcoming Arts and Healing Center will:
Increase the acceptance, respect and understanding of immigrants by amplifying the power of immigrants in the aesthetics of the built environment, celebrating the historical and current contributions and work of immigrants, and by implementing the practice of radical welcoming as an art form.
Use art as a tool to strengthen the civic capacity and political agency of immigrants and other marginalized communities.
House resources to meet the needs of migrant labor force (including support in forming a co-op, unionizing, negotiating contracts for domestic workers and developing micro economies). The IWAHC will be a site for equitable and accessible grassroots community organizing that incorporates multiple types of knowledge keeping.
Provide studio space devoted to the expression and expansion of immigrant cultural traditions through various disciplines including textile, culinary and printmaking arts.
Significance: Brownsville would model how our nation can re-imagine borders and immigration, shifting the contemporary discourse about immigration and border enforcement to one about community leadership and immigrant welcoming. Instead of having national policy on immigration and the militarization of the region being determined by lawmakers from far outside the region, the community members most impacted by these policies, immigrants living along the US/ Mexico border, would be centered as thought leaders in shaping the national discourse.
ASK: Las Imaginistas believe the built and visible environment informs how we understand ourselves, relate to others, and perform our daily lives. The inverse is also true, how we perform our lives informs how we build up the world around us.
The Immigrant Welcoming Arts and Healing Center will provide an alternative to the current built environment, sitting just miles from the border wall, and help establish a counter narrative about immigration by being a space of radical welcoming, where the achievements of immigrants can be acknowledged and celebrated, and the values of inclusivity, equity, access, and opportunity can be upheld.
It is a critical and important time for this center to exist, given the current political climate around immigration and cultural identity. The IWAHC has the potential to reframe narratives about racial equity not just for the region, but for the border, and the entire nation.
Your small and significant contributions will be used to revitalize the building, design a space of welcoming, and help establish the center’s programming, resources, and services for the community.
Thank you, for your invaluable support!