Working Group #6: Arts, Culture, and Immigration

May 14, 2019

By: Jamie Hand, Director of Research Strategies

Today marks the kick-off of ArtPlace America’s sixth research working group focused on the intersection of arts and culture with a specific sector of community development.

Convened in partnership with Welcoming America, this working group will focus on the ways artists and cultural organizations can act as allies in local immigration sector work, helping to bridge newcomers and longer-term residents, catalyzing new business opportunities, co-creating welcoming spaces that signal belonging, and more.

ArtPlace and Welcoming America will be joined by a diverse and accomplished working group of arts and immigration leaders, practitioners, and advocates including:


Amy Herzfeld-Copple, Western States Center

Ashley Hanson, Department of Public Transformation and PlaceBase Productions

Betty Cruz, All for All

Bryan Warren, Office for Globalization, Louisville Metro Government

Carolina Rubio MacWright,

Christa Yoakum, Nebraska Is Home

Christina Patiño Houle, Las Imaginistas

Cooper Green, Interfaith Mission Service

Cynthia Woo, Pao Arts Center, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

Dan Wallace, New American Economy

David Flores, Casa Familiar

Hazami Sayed, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

Henry Reese, City of Asylum

Janera Solomon, Kelly Strayhorn Theater

Jennifer Novak-Leonard, Northwestern University

John Arroyo, University of Oregon

Laura Marcus Green, Ph.D., South Carolina Arts Commission and University of South Carolina

Lynnette Tessitore, City of Chula Vista

Malik Gillani, Silk Road Rising

Mara Kimmel, Anchorage Museum

Nadia El-Zein Tonova, ACCESS

Onye Ozuzu, College of the Arts, University of Florida

Rachel Strutt, Somerville Arts Council

Ryan M. Eller, Define American

Taryn Higashi, Unbound Philanthropy

Ze Min Xiao, Mayor's Office for New Americans, Salt Lake County


The group is meeting in Pittsburgh this week in advance of the annual Welcoming Interactive and Welcoming Economies Convening. We’re thrilled to be hosted by two beloved local arts institutions—City of Asylum Pittsburgh and Kelly Strayhorn Theater—and will use a portion of our time together to review preliminary research that ArtPlace commissioned John Arroyo, Ph.D. to conduct. We’ll also identify important fieldbuilding strategies for ArtPlace, Welcoming America, and other partners to support increased collaboration among arts and culture and immigration sector practitioners.

Stay tuned for the Arts, Culture, and Immigration field scan to be published in early fall, and for more resources, forthcoming from our partners at Welcoming America.