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Phoenix group to showcase art from children of immigrant families

(KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — A community organization based in Phoenix will hold a gallery showcase on Friday in order to showcase artwork created by children of immigrant families.

ALIENTO, a “community organization that is undocumented and youth-led,” according to its website, will host “The Art of Being,” an art gallery and fundraiser, at ABLOOM Salon and Gallery at 7 p.m.

The free event will showcase the work produced in the organization’s arts and healing workshops, founder and executive director Reyna Montoya told KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

“‘The Art of Being’ is to highlight the work that we have been doing for the past year and a half with undocumented immigrants and migrant families, specifically with children and youth,” she said.

The workshops are available to children as young as 7 years old. “We explore our emotions — it could be their fear, anger, but at the same time love and hope,” Montoya added.

Montoya said children will use art to express their emotions about everything from what is happening in society to their schools and what they find in peace and love.

“Some of the children have a lot of fear about being separated from their parents,” she said.

“Typically, our younger kids tend to be U.S. citizens and their parents are either DACA recipients or undocumented. We have had, in the past, people who have had families in detention or been deported.”

But that is not all: Montoya said the event will also highlight local artists, including poets Anna Flores and Midory Fernanda Otañez Murrieta, photographer Diego Lozano and DJ Mike Webb.

Montoya said she believes the event will give families a “space where they can just be.

“This moment…is so hard — we’re seeing family separations, children are being taken from their moms,” she added.

“We know this is not the first time this has happened…but how can we hold spaces where we could be reminded that we are not alone?”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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