Refugee children's artwork on display at ASU

September 5, 2008

The front windows of Arizona State University’s Museum of Anthropology currently frame a very special collection of artwork: 24 paintings by refugee children now living in Arizona. Inside the museum are 24 additional paintings, along with storyboards detailing the young artists’ harrowing journeys to their new lives in the U.S. In simple strokes of primary colors, the dreams and nightmares of these resilient youths come to life in a mini-exhibit titled From Harm to Home.  

Painted by youngsters from Burma to Burundi, the images on canvas and paper illustrate the scope of refugee children’s heartache, as well as their hope. The unique body of art is the outgrowth of an International Rescue Committee session last March in which several dozen refugee children ages 3 to 15 were encouraged, under the guidance of an art therapist, to create paintings of their families, their homelands and their new homes in Arizona.  Download Full Image

The ASU presentation is but a sampling of over 300 paintings created during the session and is a poignant complement to the museum’s concurrent full exhibits, Fuse: Portraits of Refugee Households in Metropolitan Phoenix; and Mosaic: Cultural Identity in America. All three exhibits will be on display through Oct. 3.  

The From Harm to Home installation coincides with the International Rescue Committee’s 75th anniversary. Began in 1933 by Albert Einstein and prominent American citizens to aid Germans suffering under Hitler’s regime, the group continues to assist refugees, provide emergency relief, alleviate suffering and advocate around the world for the protection of human rights and dignity.

The museum is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free. For more information, call (480) 965-6224 or visit:">"> The ASU Museum of Anthropology is located in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change building, Room 240, on the ASU Tempe campus. A map of ASU’s museum locations is online at">">  

Judy Newland

Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change


Events celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at ASU's West campus

September 5, 2008

A health awareness fair and events that celebrate the diversity of Latin poetry, theater and dance are in the spotlight as Arizona State University’s West campus celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Latin and Caribbean cultures represent the influences of many different customs,” says Lucy Berchini, chairwoman of the Hispanic Heritage Committee at ASU’s West campus. “We want to give the campus and the community at large the opportunity to experience the tremendous variety within the Latin community.”

All events, on ASU’s West campus at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road, are free and open to the public (there is a fee for visitor parking on campus). The schedule is:

For the Love of Hispanic Poetry: Thursday, Sept. 4, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., Art Gallery, Second floor of the University Center Building. Poetry written by poets from Latin and Caribbean countries will be displayed and read in both Spanish and English. The event’s host is Leandro Soto, a faculty member in ASU’s Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance Program.

Por Amor/For Love: Monday, Sept. 15, 6:00 p.m., Second Stage West Theatre in the University Center Building (preceded by a reception at 5:00 p.m. in La Sala, University Center Building). This one-act musical play written by James E. Garcia and Raul Yzaguirre focuses on the dreams of a young Hispanic man. Garcia is a former faculty member in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; Yzaguirre is executive director of the ASU Center for Community Development and Civil Rights.

A Night of Hispanic Dances: Friday, Oct. 3, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., La Sala, University Center Building. Dancers will perform a variety of Latin and Caribbean dances, including salsa, bachata and merengue, and audience members will have the opportunity to mingle with the dancers and learn new dance steps.

Health Awareness Fair: Friday, Oct. 10, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Multipurpose Field/Basketball Courts south of the Sands Classroom Building. The American Heart Association and Valley Big Brothers/Big Sisters are just two of the many community agencies that will host information tables at this event. The fair features health screenings and details about blood, bone marrow and organ donation. Co-sponsoring groups are the African American and Native American committees on the West campus.

For more information, visit">"> or call Lucy Berchini at (602) 543-6091.