34 Bay Area Organizations Explore Immigration in Community Collaboration with SJMA

Release date 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SAN JOSE, California (February 2016)— The San Jose Museum of Art’s exhibition Border Cantos: Richard Misrach | Guillermo Galindo, on view from February 26 – July 26, 2016, is a cross-disciplinary exhibition that documents the unseen realities of the US/ Mexico borderlands. The exhibition is the inspiration for a multi-disciplinary, community-wide collaboration this spring. This region-wide series of programs on immigration will explore the human side of immigration debates and their particular relevance to the Bay Area community. Thirty-four community partners throughout the Bay Area will explore themes of immigration, migration, borders, identity, and social justice in a wide variety of programs, performances, exhibitions, projects, and educational experiences. A complete calendar of programs is available online at sjumusart.org/border-cantos.

Participating organizations include: Asian Pacific Fund, San Jose; Cabrillo College Puente Project, Aptos; Children’s Discovery Museum, San Jose; City Lights Theater Company, San Jose; City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs; Consulado de México en San José; de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University; Exploratorium, San Francisco; FWD.us and Welcome.us; History San José; Japanese American Museum of San Jose; MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana), San Jose; Montalvo Arts Center; Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz; New Museum of Los Gatos (NUMU); Opera Cultura, Oakland; Pajaro Valley Arts, Watsonville; Poetry Center San Jose; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA); San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles; San Jose Public Library; San Jose Stage Company (in partnership with El Teatro Campesino); School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose; Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History; Tadaima Project, Asian Law Alliance, San Jose; Teatro Visión de San José; The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose; University of California, Santa Cruz/Chicano Latino Research Center; Veggielution, San Jose; Works San Jose; and ZERO1, San Jose.

A coordinated series of community programs are planned from January through September 2016: 

  • The de Saisset Museum will present De Saisset: From Family Name to Artistic Legacy, (through March 13, 2016), an exhibition that traces key events from Ernest de Saisset’s birth to the founding of the Museum in his honor in 1955. Ernest de Saisset came from a family that emigrated from France and settled in San Jose, where they owned considerable property and maintained various business interests.
  • San Jose Stage, in partnership with El Teatro Campesino, presents Valley of the Heart through March 20. The theatrical production is Luis Valdez's tale of an American love story deeply rooted in the fertile Santa Clara Valley, illustrating the ironic divide between America’s ideals and its actions. 
  • The Exploratorium presented Resonance, a performance by experimental composer Guillermo Galindo, on February 11 and will host its after hours program After Dark: Us and Them on May 5, 6-10 PM, in which participants can explore the biological, psychological, and sociocultural circumstances of our individual and collective identities.
  • San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) will present Demarcate: Territorial Shift in Personal and Societal Mapping, February 28– May 29, 2016, a group exhibition featuring artists who examine urbanization, the natural environment, the utopia of a world in which borders are eradicated, and identity as it relates to place. The opening reception will take place on February 28, 2016 and feature I Will Erase all Borders with my Little Feet, a special performance by Alice Raymond. 
  • Pajaro Valley Arts will present the exhibition Immigration: Borders, Boundaries, Beginnings¸ March 2–April 17, 2016. In this group exhibition artists consider stories of leaving and arriving. An accompanying public art project will showcase large-scale photographs taken by ROP students dealing with themes of immigration on public buildings in downtown Watsonville.
  • Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA), San Jose, will present Resonant Shadows/ Circular Calls, a performance by experimental composer Guillermo Galindo on March 6, 2016, at 2 PM. Galindo will perform compositions using musical instruments created from objects found at the US-Mexico border. MACLA will also present ’57 Chevy, a one-man play written by Emmy Award winning writer/comedian Cris Franco that explores the misadventures of “double immigrants” who first moved to the U.S. barrios in search of opportunity – then moved into the suburbs in search of the middle-class American dream, March 11–12, 2016, 8 PM, March 13, 2016, 2 PM
  • The Gallery at the Carmen Castellano Fine Arts Center at San José City College will present a textile exhibition entitled Cross-Border Graphics/Grafica Transfronteriza, March 15–April 15, 2016. The exhibition will be accompanied by a waist weaving workshop on April 2, 2016, 11 AM
  • City Lights Theater Company will present The Elephant Man, Bernard Pomerance’s play based on the true story of John Merrick, a young man in Victorian England afflicted with a disfiguring neurological disease, introduced to London society by a celebrated physician, March 17–April 17, 2016
  • Asian Pacific Fund will present Growing Up Asian in America, an essay competition for youth to explore their ideas and identities, as well as celebrate being both Asian and American. Bay Area students from kindergarten through 12th grade will submit artwork, essays, poems and video about a specific theme. The competition will take place in March.  
  • Works San Jose will present the exhibition Badlands: Borders from Within, April 1- 24, 2016
  • Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz will host Third Thursday: Beyond Borders, an event that showcases Santa Cruz community activists and explores how people navigate social, emotional, and physical borders in their lives, April 15, 2016, 6–9 PM
  • Consulado de México en San Jose will present the exhibition Cross Border Graphics in collaboration with San Jose City College Art College from March 15 – April 15, 2016. In addition, the Consulate will present a Cross Borders Art and Tech Talk on April 1, 2016, 12 – 2 PM and “Essays on Light,” a short video that examines visual and conceptual borders such as sight and sound, day and night, togetherness and separation, on April 17, 2016, 2 PM, both at SJMA. 
  • Cabrillo College Puente Project will present Writing our Lives: Nuestras Vidas Writing Project, a student reading of essays, stories, and poems written by the 2015-2016 class of the Cabrillo College Puente Project about life as a Latino college student working towards a successful future, April 21, 2016, 5:30 – 7 PM at the San Jose Museum of Art. 
  • UCSC/Chicano Latino Research Center will present a free, public screening of María en tierra de nadie / María in No Man’s Land (2010, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala), a documentary about Central American women migrants and their journey to the United States, on April 28, 2016, 7-9 pm. On April 29, 2016, 10 AM–12 PM, UCSC will present The Jungle and the Beast: A Conversation with Lewis Watts and Oscar Martinez. Salvadoran journalist Óscar Martínez will speak to Lewis Watts about his journey accompanying migrants on "the Beast," the train that travels from Central America through Mexico to the United States. 
  • Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History in partnership with the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs and de Saisset Museum will present Hidden Heritages: San Jose's Pioneer French Families 1850-1900, an exhibition showcasing how the early French community helped settle and form San Jose and lent their names to institutions, streets and buildings. May – September, 2016, at San Jose City Hall.
  • San Jose Public Library will host an Immigration Resource Fair on May 14, 2016, 1–3 PM, which will offer free immigration resources, services, tips, and information from a variety of community organizations. 
  • Montalvo Arts Center will present a film screening of Juan Juala es John Cage followed by a conversation with Zen Cohen and Guillermo Galindo on May 13, 2016. This documentary follows Guillermo Galindo’s confrontation of his musical heritage and education against taboos of the musical “avant-garde” by training a band of Mariachis to perform a John Cage score. On June 24, 2016, 7 PM, Montalvo will present the film festival Border Disorder. 
  • The Tadaima Project and Asian Law Alliance will present Resistance and Resilience: The Human Face of Undocuqueers on May 15, 2016, 1–3 PM. A special screening of My Beautiful Resistance, a documentary about the journey of an individual who came to the U.S. to escape LBGTQ persecution in her home country will be followed by a discussion with legal experts on immigration issues for the LGBTQ communities, including helping a spouse obtain a “green card,” legal requirements for seeking asylum, and other related immigration challenges.
  • New Museum of Los Gatos (NUMU) will present Songs For Social Justice: A Weekend Celebration Of Music, Peace and Human Rights, May 20–22, 2016. The weekend will include songwriting workshops, music related panel discussions, lectures, concerts, and activities supporting the idea of music as a peaceful means for social justice.
  • Opera Cultura will present the theatrical production Rio de Mujeres/River of Women, a story about a mother who dreams of escaping the rural life of the river, but is thwarted by her family and her culture, on May 21, 2016, 7 PM and May 22, 2016, 2 PM.
  • Teatro Visión de San José will present Marcario, October 6–16, 2016. The bilingual theatrical production is a classic Mexican folktale that explores the many aspects of hunger. 
  • Children’s Discovery Museum’s ongoing exhibit World Theater is an imaginative play area in which children can try on clothing and clothing components from other countries and take a cultural journey through role playing. 
  • ZERO1 will present Border Crosser by Chico MacMurtie, an installation comprised of inflatable robotic sculptures that will be deployed at points along the border, at the ZERO 1 Biennial in September. The artist’s soft archways serve as a metaphor for the desire for more connection. 
  • Poetry Center San Jose and Willow Glen Poetry Group will present the San Jose Poetry Festival: Breaking Borders on September 18, 2016, 9 AM – 6  PM. 

These additional partners are providing resources, advice, and support for Border Cantos programs as well as future programming to be announced:

  • History San José
  • Japanese American Museum of San Jose
  • San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
  • School of Arts and Culture at
  • Mexican Heritage Plaza
  • Somos Mayfair
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation
  • Veggielution

Border Cantos is made possible in part by grant support from the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Yellow Chair Foundation, and the Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that is also generously supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Additional support comes from the Consulado de México en San José, Claudia and Sven Weber, and Evelyn and Rick Neely.


The San Jose Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought-provoking, the Museum rejects stuffiness and delights visitors with its surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time.

The San Jose Museum of Art is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San Jose, California. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 PM to 5 PM and until 8 PM or later on the third Thursday of each month. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free to members and children under 6. For more information, call 408-271-6840 or visit www.SanJoseMuseumofArt.org.

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Programs at the San Jose Museum of Art are made possible by generous operating support from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Lipman Family Foundation, the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the Koret Foundation, a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose, and, with support for exhibition development, Yvonne and Mike Nevens.