Arts in Immigrant Communities Preconference

Little Haiti Cultural Center
212 NE 59th Terrace
Miami, FL

This preconference will examine the role of arts and culture in maintaining and supporting healthy livable immigrant and refugee communities. The preconference will be held in the Little Haiti neighborhood in Miami.

Note that this preconference will be bilingual and the presentations available in both English and Spanish.


Depart Eden Roc Hotel
Coffee and Haitian breakfast from Leela’s Haitian Restaurant
Presentation and participatory drumming with Willie Stewart

Willie Stewart was born in England to Jamaican parents and the family moved to Jamaica when Willie was a young boy. His love of music lead to an illustrious career as a member of the popular band Inner Circle, touring with Byron Lee & the Dragonaires as their youngest member, and 23 years as a director and member of the internationally-known band Third World, Jamaica's most successful act next to Bob Marley.

After playing successfully with Third World, Stewart's desire to work with children and give back to the community, coupled with his expertise in the world of percussion instruments stirred a desire in his head and heart to help heal — the world! — with music.

Funding Arts in Immigrant and Refugee Communities: The State of the Union
Organized by Grantmakers in the Arts
Moderated by Amy Kitchener, executive director, Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Presented by Anne-Marie Bénéteau, program manager, Ontario Trillium Foundation; Jim Kelly, executive director, 4Culture; France Phillips, Program Director, Arts and the Creative Work Fund, Walter & Elise Haas Fund.

This session will provide an overview of a broad range of funding programs serving immigrant and refugee communities with a focus on first-hand “lessons learned” from both successes and challenges faced by program officers working in this sector. The session will be followed by a moderated discussion inviting participants to continue sharing their stories and expand the shared knowledge base.


Lunch from Leela’s Haitian Restaurant

Artist’s Workshops
A number of local artists will be on hand with both contemporary and traditional artwork and crafts for sale in the courtyard.

Little Haiti Neighborhood Walking Tours
Longtime Little Haiti resident and photographer Carl Juste will give a brief history of the neighborhood and lead walking tours of Little Haiti for interested participants.


Art, Culture, and Community Health

Organized by Amy Kitchener, executive director, Alliance for California Traditional Arts; Russell Rodriguez, program manager, Alliance for California Traditional Arts.
Moderated by Russell Rodriguez, program manager, Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Presented by Charya Burt, Cambodian classical dancer and choreographer, Charya Burt Cambodian Dance; Juana Gomez, Mixtec herbalist and healer; Ezequiel Torres, Afro-Cuban batá Drummer and Drummaker.

The immigrant experience involves movement, often characterized by genocide, de-territorialization, exile, and economical, political, and social marginalization. While the impetus for immigration is often times traumatic, the process of moving and crossing borders compounds the upheaval, especially for those that migrate without documentation.

Whether contemporary, traditional, or popular, arts emerging from immigrant communities can shape the popular imagination of those communities, while disrupting and challenge social norms. In this session, we will discuss some of the issues that artists address in the process of making art and claiming public space. Creating a new context in the diaspora to practice art and culture, finding community collaborators, taking responsibility for cultural expressions that represent communities in new contexts, and sharing with those outside of one's community are just a few issues that immigrant artists and cultural practitioners address. These artists/practitioners represent a diverse set of experiences and working conditions, covering a panorama of ideas and knowledge systems that serves as an important foundation for the healing of recent or historic traumas and for the creation of individual, family, and community-wide wellbeing.

Facilitated Wrap-up Discussion with Hugo Morales and Beth Takekawa

Hugo Morales is executive director of Radio Bilingüe, which he founded in 1976 with a volunteer staff of farm workers and artists. Radio Bilingüe is a Latino-controlled news and information cultural service with six full-power FM radio stations and a national satellite radio service. Programming is available in English, Spanish, Hmong and Mixteco, an indigenous Native American language in Mexico. Hugo’s exceptional work has earned him substantial recognition and awards, including radio’s highest honor, the Edward R. Murrow Award. He is a trustee of the San Francisco Foundation and a trustee emeritus of the California Endowment.

Beth Takekawa is Executive Director of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, a community-based cultural institution in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District, the only pan-Asian Pacific American museum in the nation. Beth was hired as the Museum’s Associate Director in 1997 and in 2008 became Executive Director. She has over 25 years experience in community economic development, working in the private, public and nonprofit sectors in program development, finance and administrative management. Beth is appointed by the governor as a commissioner on the Washington State Arts Commission and serves on the boards of the Downtown Seattle Association and International District Emergency Center.

Bus departs for the Eden Roc Hotel

Arts and Culture in Immigrant Communitites Preconference Committee

Vanessa Cedeño, Program Coordinator, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
Tatiana Hernandez, Arts Program Associate, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Amy Kitchner, Executive Director, Alliance for California Traditional Arts
Tommer Peterson, Deputy Director, Grantmakers in the Arts