It’s been a busy month for AZ ArtWorker. The artist-to-artist professional development program launched last summer by the Arizona Commission on the Arts with funding from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation brought unique and culturally-relevant learning opportunities to Douglas, Tucson and Phoenix in May.

RE-CREATIONS: Mapping the road from the page to the stage

DSC01964aJorge Merced, Artistic Director of New York’s Pregones Theater, presented a workshop to Tucson theater artists on the art of adaptations. Participants learned to think of both literary and non-literary texts as inspiration and raw material for theater. Through hands-on exercises Merced participants used a variety of texts, including newspaper articles and poems, as springboards for new theatrical interpretations.

The workshop was presented in partnership with Tucson’s own Borderlands Theater and Safos Dance Theatre at the Tucson Museum of Art. Local playwright and theater artist Milta Ortiz opened the evening with a presentation on her work.

Who Tells the Best Jokes? Who Makes the Best Tortillas? Asset Mapping as a Tool for Community Empowerment

In Douglas, local arts and community leaders gathered at Galiano’s Cafe for a workshop on community research and asset mapping. Maribel Alvarez and Leah Maahs of Southwest Folklife Alliance offered a survey of techniques and strategies for creative and effective community engagement.

Among those in attendance was the newly elected mayor of Douglas, Robert Uribé, who sees the local arts sector as a central component of his town’s future. In collaboration with local artist M. Jenea Sanchez, Uribé recently established Border Arts Corridor, a bi-national organization dedicated to the development of arts and cultural programming that promotes better understanding of the complexities of the borderlands.

Beat Making Skill Share with Shining Soul

AZ ArtWorker_ Shining Soul 2Young artists in Topowa participated in a five-week workshop with Shining Soul, a duo of teaching artists/professional musicians who teach Hip Hop as a medium for bringing forth positive growth and balance in one’s life

Shining Soul offered students from Baboquivari High School an intermediate curriculum focused on the four steps of Beat production: digging, sampling, sequencing and song arrangement. The workshop also provided information on Hip Hop’s origins and elements, including Hip Hop’s tradition of creative and generative response to social inequality.

On First Friday, June 3, 2016, students who participated in the program performed alongside Shining Soul at Phoenix Art Museum. Click here to learn more.