iDream Campaign

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The mission of the iDream Campaign is to increase awareness of immigrant youth issues, including the DREAM Act, through art and social media.
Carla Chavarria, artist and founder of the iDream Campaign, discusses the campaign and its first art exhibition called “Illustrated Dreams”.

José Cárdenas: The "iDream" campaign is a chapter of the Arizona dream act coalition. Their mission is to spread awareness of immigrant issues important to young people through the forms of art and social media. Recently, the group had its first art exhibition, "illustrated dreams." With me to talk about the campaign and the exhibition is Carla Chavarria, artist and founder of the "I dream" campaign." Thank you for joining us.

Carla Chavarria: Thank you.

José Cárdenas: The exhibition is right now?

Carla Chavarria: Yes.

José Cárdenas: Tell us first about how this all got started.

Carla Chavarria: Well, I started thinking of an idea how I could change the way that people looked at the immigrant youth movement and how there was never really a face to the movement. And so that's what I wanted to portray and clear up the misconceptions, whether it's we're all Hispanic, the people, like the immigrant youth movement. We're all of a certain age or certain stereotype.

José Cárdenas: And some of the pictures we've shown, you have a young child who is up there and then you have men, women, as I understanding, you also wanted to show it's not just Latino, it's different ethnic groups and we have a African American there.

Carla Chavarria: I wanted to portray not only groups from -- from the black descendants but also there are -- either involved in the immigrant youth movement, affected by it, or supporters.

José Cárdenas: And here we have Asian immigrants.

Carla Chavarria: Yeah, a nice group of Asians that are in the youth movement. But they're always -- there's always like a tendency --

José Cárdenas: When we talk about dreamers, talking about children brought to this country who are here through -- wasn't of their own volition, but who are not allowed to get in-state tuition and other things for a college education.

Carla Chavarria: Uh-huh.

José Cárdenas: The pictures show the diversity but there's one unifying element. All have body paint reflecting the stars and stripes.

Carla Chavarria: Like a symbolism of having them try to become a American and in their skin to be an American, so --

José Cárdenas: And the exhibition started August 4th?

Carla Chavarria: Yes.

José Cárdenas: 20 pictures.

Carla Chavarria: 20 picture, August 4th, and they all, again, portray the immigrant youth movement and the --

José Cárdenas: And you took the pictures, I understand some in Arizona and some in California.

Carla Chavarria: Yes. I had several photo shoots in Arizona, about four, and then I had a photo shoot in California.

José Cárdenas: How did you come to be part of the dream act coalition?

Carla Chavarria: I was on this on my own. I wasn't informed about the coalition that there was here in Arizona, and then someone reached out to me, through Facebook, Dulce that reached out to me and had a meeting with them and -- Dulce and Daniel, and they brought me onboard and mentoring me.

José Cárdenas: You've gotten some -- I think your opening night crowd, about 180 people?

Carla Chavarria: Right.

José Cárdenas: What kind of reaction did you get to the pictures?

Carla Chavarria: Everybody had a mixed reaction. It was a very positive reaction, it was just some very strong pictures that they had and some things that would be -- that would hit them on a personal basis. Stuff like that.

José Cárdenas: And we've got your website. We had it up there. That's a place where people can go to get more information.

Carla Chavarria: Yeah, and we have them displayed. The 20 pictures and there's information about the iDream Campaign.

José Cárdenas: And do you think based on feedback that you've achieved the purposes you've set out to accomplish?

Carla Chavarria: Yeah, I think I have. I think there's a lot more and you have to educate everyone in the community. And not just the Hispanics, about the misconceptions so they can get a better understanding about the immigrant youth movement and how it's not such a bad thing.

José Cárdenas: And again, the exhibition is at the ALWUN House.

Carla Chavarria: Yes, and it ends on the 26th.

José Cárdenas: Thank you for talking with us about this and good luck on your future efforts. Thank you.
Carla Chavarria: Thank you.

Carla Chavarria: iDream Artist and Founder;

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