Local artists team up to push immigration reform - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Local artists team up to push immigration reform

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Partisan tempers flared at a Senate immigration hearing earlier this week.

NY Senator Chuck Schumer suggested that some were using the Boston bombings as "an excuse" to slow down or stop the immigration reform bill.

There are local efforts to get involved in the conversation.

"There's the border and it's representing all the people who have died attempting to cross the border," said  Zuleyma Castrejon a student at Johnson C. Smith University.

Documenting the undocumented.

Through art local activists hope to change public perception of immigrants.

"I really like creating art with meaning you know something that impacts people," said Zuleyma.

"The idea was kind of to respond to current issues that are going on related to immigration," sad Megan Walsh.

She is the youth development coordinator at the Latin American Coalition.

Megan witnesses the problems immigrants deal with on a day to day basis.

"The stereotypes, the other thing is deportations," said Megan.

She is also an artist and founder of the pro migrant exhibition.

"There's some established artist, there's some emerging artist, we have student artist," said Megan.

The pieces aim to educate people about the migrant community.

"Sometimes people aren't aware," said Zuleyman.

"It's not that they don't care, it's that they don't know and we all have a responsibility I think to communicate information to people."

"We as artists we don't just express," said another local artist Rosalia. Weiner. 

"We are documenting the American history here."

The pieces are also meant to empower.

"I did it to represent the power I have as a woman and as a minority," added Zuleyma.

Right now the group's works are displayed at the Latin American Coalition.

But the plan is to exhibit in local galleries to reach a wider audience.

"We are here and this is part of what's happening in Charlotte," said Rosalia.

The fate of the immigration reform is still in flux.

The committee is scheduled to meet again.

A process will continue through May with committee meetings on immigration scheduled to occur at least twice a week.

For more information on the exhibit or to become an artist involved in the collective you can log on to http://obracollective.wordpress.com/

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