Community art exhibit examines history of maps

October 8, 2013

Maps are human artifacts; they show how we understand the world around us. They have the ability to unite memory, history, imagination and geography.

This is the core of "Mapping: Movement and Memory," a community art exhibition now open in the University Center on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Organized by the College of Public Programs’ “Action, Advocacy, Arts” series, the new public art exhibit showcases the work of over 50 visual artists along the busy and bustling hallways filled with students, faculty, staff and visitors. Download Full Image

The exhibition, which runs through Dec. 3, is displayed on the first, second and third floors of the University Center, 411 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, and features 56 works of art submitted for the exhibit in response to a community-wide call to artists.

Celebrating many views of maps and their meaning

Maps can be used to explore geographical regions, favorite places, as well as to define borders. They also act as a form of storytelling and communication, and as a way of remembering certain events or special areas.

The exhibit celebrates the history, meaning and purpose of maps.

“We invited artists of all ages to create paintings, drawings and works in mixed media that explore and celebrate maps and how they examine and define experiences, connect us through various landscapes and allow the possibility of describing journeys, either real or imagined,” says Carrie Tovar, curator of art for the College of Public Programs.

“Through this exhibit, we see the various interpretations of maps and their meanings,” Tovar says.

Showcasing a community of artists

The Downtown Phoenix venue showcases community art from working professionals alongside emerging and youth artists.

In two works, “Motherhood Around the Map, Past” and “Motherhood Around the Map, Present,” Farhana Ahmed has made motherhood and the connection to earth her focus. She has created two collages in different styles using a map created in 1450 and a map from the present day.

Artist Anel Arriola chose to represent a map of the places she has lived superimposed on a heart. She focused on these because “each place has given me an extraordinary life experience that has led me to become who I am today.“

In his work “Here We Are, Waltz,” Michael Pupillo provides an alternate view on the term “map." The piece depicts people of all ages and sizes strolling between buildings outside. Pupillo states, “I am drawn to the concept of viewing a map as a story. Every road taken, bridge crossed and river forged creates a small chronicle ... I believe that all people have an internal map of memory.”

Artists Ezri Tyler, Ryan Kershner and Adeline Kershner created a map of Greece. They chose Ancient Greece “because we love the subject and we thought it would be very interesting for others.” They are among 13 artists from Madison Simis Elementary School.

Carson Bilger, art teacher at Madison Simis Elementary School, chose to have his students participate because “Simis Elementary is an International Baccalaureate candidate school, a program which really emphasizes community involvement. 

“I thought the topic of mapmaking was intriguing ... I was excited about the venue and the amount of people that would view what they made. I could tell the students loved making their maps by how engaged they were,” Bilger says. “After visiting the show, I was impressed with the variety of pieces and the quality of the work. It was fun seeing college students studying with the maps we created as a backdrop.”

The Action, Advocacy, Arts Gallery provides community organizations and individuals the opportunity to share valuable stories through the visual arts with more than 8,000 people. "Mapping: Movement and Memory" is part of an ongoing community art program featured throughout the University Center building.

The gallery is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, except for holidays. Guided tours may be arranged by contacting Carrie Tovar at For more on Action, Advocacy, Arts, visit

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Center for Investigative Reporting wins inaugural award recognizing disability coverage

October 8, 2013

A series exposing the routine failure on the part of police to protect the developmentally disabled at California care institutions is the inaugural winner of the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability.

California Watch, part of The Center for Investigative Reporting, is the recipient of the international award, the first devoted exclusively to disability coverage. The award includes a $5,000 prize and is administered by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, under a grant from Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist who also supports the Schneider Family Book Awards. Download Full Image

CIR’s award-winning package of stories, “Broken Shield,” was written and reported by Ryan Gabrielson. Carrie Ching and Marina Luz produced an accompanying animated video, titled “In Jennifer's Room.”

“With painstaking thoroughness and dynamic storytelling, reporter Ryan Gabrielson showed how a California police force designed to protect developmentally disabled patients failed to investigate horrible, violent abuse of patients,” said contest judge Tim McGuire, the Frank Russell Chair of Journalism at the Cronkite School. “The stories make you mad and break your heart at the same time. And, most important, they got real results. Severely developmentally disabled patients are safer today because of Gabrielson’s work.”

The second-place award, with a $1,500 prize, went to Gareth Cook for his New York Times Magazine piece, “The Autism Advantage.” The story details how autistic workers at one innovative Danish company are being drawn into the modern economy and excelling at their jobs.

Two honorable mention prizes of $500 each also were awarded. They went to Daphnee Denis and Hoda Emam for a video documentary, “Playing by Ear.” The video, which focuses on one man’s dedication to goalball, a fast-paced sport designed for the visually impaired, was published at Narratively, a platform developed in 2012 that features in-depth stories around a different theme each week. The site was named one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2013.

The second honorable mention award went to Broughton Coburn for a long-form piece he wrote for Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. “Second Chapter: A Portrait of Barry Corbet” chronicles how a famed mountaineer continued to enjoy the outdoors after a helicopter crash left him paralyzed from the waist down.

The first-place entry, “Broken Shield,” also was a 2013 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. Additionally, it won a 2012 George Polk Award and a 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. Gabrielson will accept the Schneider Award and discuss his work as part of the “Must See Mondays” speaker series at the Cronkite School at 7 p.m. on Nov. 25.

Judges reviewed 72 entries from journalists around the world. In addition to McGuire, the judges were Tony Coelho, former U.S. congressman and primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act; Leon Dash, the Swanlund Chair Professor of Journalism and the director of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Cyndi Jones, former director of The Center for an Accessible Society; and Jennifer Longdon, a disability rights advocate and former chair of the Phoenix Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues.

“When I first agreed to judge this contest, I thought, ‘Hey, how many entries could there be anyway? Maybe 20, and half worth a second look,’” Jones said. “Well 70-plus entries later, as we began final deliberations, we still had 15 entries on the table, all of which were great. Not easy by any means. The entries were terrific and so varied in disability, slant, topic, style, medium and length. This was a terrifically wonderful problem to have.”

People with some kind of mental or physical disability make up at least 19 percent of the U.S. population; however, people with disabilities are frequently under-covered by the mainstream press, or that coverage is inaccurate or incomplete, Schneider said. “The commonest stories are about a cure for a condition or a superhuman who overcomes the disability. I wanted to help highlight good stories and chose to work with the NCDJ and the Cronkite School because of their commitment to fair and accurate journalism that includes diversity.”

The goal of the contest is to help set a standard for disability reporting, said Kristin Gilger, associate dean of the Cronkite School and director of the NCDJ. “We want to hold up as an example work that displays a deep and nuanced understanding of the issues and challenges experienced by the millions of people who live with physical or mental disabilities,” she said. “This year’s winners did that far beyond our expectations, and they did it by telling compelling human stories and by holding power accountable.”

About the winners

First Place: “Broken Shield”

Ryan Gabrielson covers public safety for The Center for Investigative Reporting. He was a 2009-2010 investigative reporting fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, his reporting for the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. exposed that immigration enforcement by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office undermined criminal investigations. That work was recognized with a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. Gabrielson also has investigated scholarship charities that were committing tax fraud and widespread academic and financial malfeasance at the nation's largest community college district. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Gabrielson’s work has received numerous national and state honors, including a George Polk Award and the Sigma Delta Chi Award. He began his career at The Monitor in McAllen, Texas and studied journalism at the University of Arizona.

Carrie Ching is an independent multimedia journalist based in the Bay Area. She spent six years at CIR producing award-winning multimedia and graphic journalism. The graphic video, “In Jennifer's Room,” produced by Ching won the 2013 News Emmy for innovative reporting.

Marina Luz did illustrations for the “In Jennifer's Room” video. She runs her design studio, HONEYLUX, out of Oakland, Calif., where she does illustration, branding and letterpress printing. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

Second Place: “The Autism Advantage”

Gareth Cook is a Pulitzer Prize-winning magazine journalist, a contributor to and the editor of a new book series, “The Best American Infographics.” His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine,, Wired, Scientific American, Salon and elsewhere. He also is editor of Scientific American’s “Mind Matters” neuroscience blog. Cook has worked in writing and editing positions at The Washington Monthly, Foreign Policy and U.S. News & World Report. He was news editor of The Boston Phoenix before moving to The Boston Globe, where he edited the Globe’s Sunday Ideas section. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he has won a National Academies Communication Award and the Woods Hole Ocean Science Journalism Award. He is a graduate of Brown University.

Honorable Mention: “Playing by Ear”

Daphnee Denis is a French multimedia journalist based in London. A graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Cambridge University, she currently works for Monocle 24, the international radio station affiliated with Monocle magazine. Her work also has appeared in Slate, Slate France and other publications. She has held editing and producing positions at video production companies such as Radical Media, Feature Story News and Storyhunter. She was awarded the Nona Balakian award for literary criticism in 2012.

Hoda Emam is news producer and anchor of a daily live business show at Thomson Reuters in New York. Previously, she was a contributor to ABC News, CBS News and the United Nations Population Fund. In addition, she was a Middle East correspondent for a local TV station based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Emam holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in digital media. In 2012, as a Scripps Howard Fellow, Emam traveled to Italy and covered the influx of Libyan refugees in Italy following the recent Libyan revolution. In 2013, she was chosen as a United Nations Foundation Press Fellow. She is currently producing a documentary, “Shot in the Dark,” focusing on a group of visually impaired athletes.

Honorable Mention: “Second Chapter: A Portrait of Barry Corbet”

Broughton Coburn has written articles for New Age, The Denver Post Magazine, Onearth and other magazines. For two of the past three decades, he has lived in the Himalayas of Nepal, Tibet and India, writing and overseeing development and environmental conservation efforts for the World Bank, UNESCO, World Wildlife Fund and other agencies. He has written or edited seven books, including two national bestsellers and a title published by Crown in May of this year, “The Vast Unknown: America’s First Ascent of Everest.” A graduate of Harvard College, Coburn is on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference and is a visiting associate professor at Colorado College.

Reporter , ASU News