TORNILLO_Art Installation.jpg

This piece was part of a larger art installation at the Tornillo port of entry migrant children’s detention camp.

A coalition of artists and activists who last year came to the outskirts of El Paso County to protest a migrant children’s detention camp has won a grant from a nonprofit that fosters socially engaged art.

A Blade of Grass has awarded Tornillo: The Occupation Coalition a $20,000 grant for its work, including its art installations at the entrance of the Tornillo International port of entry children’s detention center. The coalition came together to occupy the camp last summer. 

Some members of the coalition last year were arrested and charged with vandalism after placing stickers on numerous exhibits at the U.S. Border Patrol Museum in Northeast El Paso during a protest. Coalition members said they were exercising their right to protest.

The coalition is now working to establish Casa Carmelita, where it will start a meals program for migrants in El Paso shelters and tent encampments across the border, as well as house visiting artists and activists, Blade of Grass said in a news release.


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