Common Ground on the Border
Friday - Saturday, January 12-13, 2018

 

 

Faculty

 

Doug Bland recently retired from Community Christian Church in Tempe where he served for 23 years. He is Executive Director of Arizona Interfaith Power & Light, a religious response to climate change. Doug teaches storytelling at the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute.
 
Father Sean Carroll, S.J. is the Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative in Ambos Nogales. Sean has been a key participant along in the borderlands, helping develop an essential border ministry that is committed to fostering bi-national solidarity on the issue of migration between the United States and Mexico through direct assistance and accompaniment, education, research, and
advocacy.
 

Jennifer Clarke is a printmaker living in Green Valley. She was born and raised in England where she had an art education at Goldsmiths College, London, in the 60s. On leaving art school, she moved to Denmark and worked as a conservator of decorative arts. She returned to printmaking later in life and for the past seven years made mezzotints, an old copper engraving technique. She has been visiting Green Valley since 1989 and every year for the past 10 years. Here, in 2016, she has finally been able to follow her heart as well as her love of the desert —and has emigrated to Green Valley and the Sonoran Desert.

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Donna Dailey is an award-winning travel writer who writes for magazines, newspapers, and websites worldwide. Her latest book, “100 Places in Ireland Every Woman Should Go” will be published this spring. Donna tutors magazine journalism and travel writing courses for the UK Writers’ College and has also taught writing workshops at the New Cairo British International School in Cairo, Egypt. When not on the road, she spends winters in Green Valley and summers in Cambridgeshire, England.
 
 
Betsy Finley loves outdoor adventures that include island hopping on a kayak on the Great Lakes, wilderness camping in North Carolina, and hiking in the woods as often as possible. Photography became a natural part of documenting her adventures with fellow travelers. However, the photos didn’t initially capture the essence or the beauty of the place. She has worked to fine tune her photographic abilities over the last several years by becoming a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society. She has won awards in their photo contests and has had three of her photos selected for their annual calendar. She is enjoying the journey towards better pictures right along with her adventures.
 
 
Gail Frank is the founder of Creative Journeys, an institute on the Oregon coast for those who write or want to. She has taught writing workshops throughout the US for more than 15 years and been a keynote speaker at numerous spiritual writing retreats. A newspaper columnist for 12 years and now a freelance writer, Frank is currently working on a collection of reflective essays on the power of community and the world in which we live. 
 

Christie Furber is a former German teacher and full-time fiber addict who splits her life between yarn stashes in Arizona and Minnesota. She has taught various knitting classes around the country and loves the creativity of fiber people she meets everywhere. She was a guest designer for IKnitiative Patterns; has taught at StevenBe’s shop in Minneapolis; has been published by Vogue Knitting and designed for Mango Moon Yarn Company, Leading workshops for them in Michigan. Christie revels in the use of vivid color” in her fiber work and interesting uses of self-striping yarns and hand-dyes.

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Seth M. Holmes, PhD, MD, School of Public Health and Graduate Program in Medical Anthropology, Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, University of California Berkeley, is currently investigating social hierarchies and health disparities in the context of US-Mexico migration and the ways in which these inequalities become understood to be natural and normal. This new project addresses the ways in which political economic structures and social categories affect individual behavior and vulnerability. He is the author of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.
 
Matthew Marsolek has been at the forefront of the North American hand drumming movement since the 1990s. He’s been a facilitator, sharing music and rhythm with corporate teams, at-risk youth, bereaved children, cancer survivors, and students of all ages. Matthew has studied and performed West African and East Indian music for over two decades and is also an accomplished guitarist, vocalist, and composer. Along with two solo projects, he’s released recordings with Drum Brothers and Mandir and has produced original music for film.
 

Rebecca McElfresh, Ph.D, has extensive experience in the field of education, particularly related to arts-infused curricular experiences for both students and faculty. She is especially interested in the intersection among artmaking experiences and personal and social transformation. She has served as teacher, building principal and human resources director in public K-12 schools and has taught in both public and private colleges and universities. As an artist, she enjoys working with molten glass and metals.

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Holly Near has been singing for our lives for over 45 years. Long respected as a singer/songwriter and social justice advocate, she effortlessly weaves lyrics that are tender, humorous, and inspirational as well as biting and challenging—and all the while she keeps it personal. Gifted with a powerful voice and a love for entertaining, Ms. Near puts on a great show reflecting on the world in which we live, the complexities of love, and integrity. www.hollynear.com
 

Jesse Palidofsky is an award-winning performing songwriter on Azalea City Recordings. His latest single, “I Am An Immigrant,” was #1 on the International Folk DJ playlist for November 2015. For the last 25 years he has utilized music for healing in a number of different settings, working with cancer patients at Children's National Medical Center and seniors with dementia and Parkinson's in his work with Arts For The Aging -- as well as in hospitals, hospices and prisons. He has led workshops on music and healing) for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Maryland Hospice and Palliative Care Network, and the Association of Professional Chaplains annual conference

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Pablo Peregrina is a bicultural singer/songwriter, born on the borderlands of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. He composes songs that reflect the social, spiritual and economic times in his local and global community. He is known as “The Voice of the Voiceless.” His first CD, “Traveling Soles,” is border-related, bringing awareness of the plight of migrant struggles and deaths in the Sonoran desert of Arizona. Pablo’s high energy, and soulful and resonant performances embody the voices of migrants as he sings about their struggle as they cross the Arizona desert.

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Ted Ramirez creates music thatis a celebration of the Southwest. His repertoire is pure and authentic, consisting of original songs, and Mexican and American folk songs and stories. Ted has received numerous culture preservation awards, including the “Arizona Culture Keeper” award and the Historical Commission Award. He is “Tucson’s Official Troubadour” as declared by the Tucson Mayor and Council in 2001 and is the Artist-In-Residence at the Tubac Presidio Park in Tubac, Arizona. 

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Chris Rickerd is a policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Political Advocacy Department who does administrative and legislative advocacy on border and immigration issues. Chris is the go to person for border communities In Washington, D.C. for his finger is always on the pulse of immigration and border policies that effect our community. He will bring us an up to date report from our nation’s capitol.
 

Nanette Robinson s the co-founder and executive artistic director of ZUZI! Dance Company. She is a movement educator, performer and choreographer with more than 25 years of experience working with professional dancers, youth, and community artists. She has taught modern dance, Skinner Releasing Technique, choreography and aerial dance to people of all ages with various abilities. She holds a BFA in Dance from Temple University and has participated in numerous continuing education programs. Her professional goal is to inspire freedom, joy and meaning in movement and demonstrate how it can find its way into our daily lives.

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Carol Egmont St. John is the author of Taproots: Where Ideas are Born; Anchors of the Soul, and Little Ways. She is currently a columnist for The Tubac Villager. Carol has a Masters Degree in writing and an undergraduate degree in education, and has led many writing workshops.

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Diane Van Deurzen and Lisa Otey are award-winning musicians and songwriters who perform around the world at festivals, clubs and concert halls. The songs they have written together combine their mutual love for jazz and blues, as well as humor and their gifts for storytelling. They will bring their passion for teaching and music into this workshop, where participants will discover their own ability to turn their stories into songs. Many enjoyed their “Women and the Blues” workshop at Common Ground on the Border 2016.

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Anna Maria Vasquez is an eco-artist, anthropologist and musician. She grew up in Columbia and Florida and has a love of travel and learning about the world. She spent time in Peru and it was there that she learned how to play the pan pipes. She lives part of the year in Magdalena working with children at an orphanage, and the other part of the year she travels, sharing her gifts and working for peace and justice. Anna Maria is the co-founder of Bridges Across Borders and she is involved in many other great causes. 

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Shura Wallin is a Green Valley Samaritan. She grew up hearing from her parents that “if people are in need, you help them.” With a promising career ahead as a music teacher, Wallin instead set her sights on a variety of causes. After studying dance with the Royal Ballet and piano at the American Conservatory of Music, and earning a teaching degree at the University of Illinois, she served with Planned Parenthood and the Population Council in New York. She coordinated food programs for the homeless in Berkeley, CA where, in 1996 she was selected as The Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women. After retiring in Green Valley, AZ in 2000, she became involved with Humane Borders, a humanitarian group that puts water tanks and 30 foot-high flags in areas with significant migrant traffic. She began to realize the enormity of the problem of migration and teamed up with Tucson Samaritans, eventually co-founding the Green Valley / Sahuarita Samaritans. Shura works every Tuesday in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico at an aide station, providing food, water and medical help as well as simply taking time with people to let them know that her heart is with their hearts. In 2012, Shura was presented with the Hon Kachina Award, the most prestigious volunteer award given in the State of Arizona.

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