Immigration Arts + Culture Working Group

Immigration: Arts, Culture and Media 2010 - A Creative Change Report

The Opportunity Agenda launched this Immigration Arts and Culture Initiative with the goal of fostering arts, culture, and media activities that promote the inclusion, integration, and human rights of immigrants in the United States. The final element of this phase of the work is a research study to identify examples of arts, culture, and media projects that effectively move hearts and minds; break down prejudice; inspire community engagement; and, in the long term, encourage public support for the fair treatment and inclusion of immigrants in American society. A key outcome of the study is the identification of a pipeline of projects that could be brought to scale and/or considered for possible collaboration and support. This study, which was designed around a series of interviews and a survey to elevate best practices and compelling ideas, also includes a series of recommendations.

Download the report here.


Liz Manne of Work in Progress, who directed the research and co-authored our report Immigration Arts, Culture, and Media 2010, presented her findings on the burgeoning field of cultural strategies and share some key recommendations for those working at the intersection of immigration advocacy and the arts.

She was also joined by prominent immigration and arts leaders who discussed their recent projects. Favianna Rodriguez—an artist-activist, co-founder of, and an author of a forthcoming book on immigration and the arts, with a focus on Arizona—spoke about Trail of Dreams, a youth-led project in support of immigration reform. Eric Ward, National Field Director, Center for New Community, spoke about Show Racism the Red Card, a campaign to use sports to combat racism and bias.

Liz's Slides (PDF)
Favianna's Slides (PDF)
Eric's Slides (PDF)


The Opportunity Agenda has begun a focus on the integration of arts, cultural, and new media strategies that promote the inclusion, integration, and human rights of immigrants in the United States. Starting in late fall 2009, we plan to create an “infrastructure” of relationships, information, innovative practices, and funding opportunities that builds support for immigrant integration and human rights through arts, culture, and media. In the short term, we plan to inform and engage key audiences on the issue of anticipated national immigration reform and reforms to the immigration enforcement system. In the long term, we plan to develop best practices and effective models for creative collaboration across immigrant integration and human rights issues. In order to accomplish these initial objectives, we will:

  • Host a working group on immigration and arts + culture;
  • Produce an initial mapping of the field with a focus on promising uses of arts, culture, and new media as it relates to federal legislative reform, immigration detention and due process, immigrant integration, and related human rights issues;
  • Generate a pipeline of projects for possible collaboration and support;
  • Produce forums to educate and mobilize members of the creative community.

For more information, please contact Jason P. Drucker (

Immigration: Arts + Culture + Social Change in the News

Top Latin Recording Artists Unite July 17, in Albuquerque to Raise Voices Against Arizona’s Proposed Immigration Law,” PRNewswire, June 30, 2010.

Nine Inch Nails, Maroon 5, Ben Harper Join Anti-Immigration Protest,” Rolling Stone, June 29, 2010.

New York Stories: the Immigrants’ Tale,” The Independent on Sunday, June 27, 2010.

New Ry Cooder Single, "Quicksand," Inspired by Arizona Immigration Battle,” NPR Blog, June 24, 2010.

He Flips, Spins, Turns His Life Around,” The Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2010.

The Art of War Against Arizona; Musicians and Visual Artists Produce Works Decrying the State's Immigration Bill,” The Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2010.

Musicians Differ in Responses to Arizona’s New Immigration Law,” The New York Times, May 28, 2010.

Arabesque Hip-Hop Video Explores Plight of Immigrants,” Pop Times Magazine, May 21, 2010.

Does It Matter If Celebs Fight a Dumb Arizona Law?,” The Answer Bitch E! Online, May 6, 2010.

Hey AZ, Don't F*ck With This Mexican: Robert Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Robert DeNiro Have Present for Arizona,” Alternet, May 5, 2010.

Hollywood Turns Focus to Immigration,” Variety, May 1, 2010.

Ricky Martin, Shakira Speak Out Against Arizona Immigration Law,” Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2010.

“‘By the Time I Get to Arizona’—This Discrimination Must Stop,” Op/ed by Chuck D and Gaye Theresa Johnson, The Huffington Post, April 26, 2010.

Start-Ups, Not Bailouts,” Op/ed by Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times, April 3, 2010.

El Otro Lado: Immigrant Stories become Public Art,” Yes Magazine, February 26, 2010.

Sen. Menendez Wants More Eva Longoria,” The Washington Examiner, February 24, 2010.

Emilio Estefan's 'Rhythm of Success',” CBS News, January 14, 2010.

American Stories, From Mexican Roots,” The New York Times, December 8, 2009.

Paper Change: Hip-Hop for My America,” Wiretap Magazine, November 27, 2009.

At the White House, A Celebration of Latin Music,” The New York Times, October 13, 2009.

Museums Take on Immigration Debate with Exhibits,” The Chicago Tribune, September 30, 2009.

U.S. Census Uses Telenovela to Reach Hispanics,” The New York Times, September 23, 2009.