Borderlands Benefit


Februrary 16, 2018


516 ARTS and the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center teamed up to celebrate New Mexico’s immigrant community and raise funds for the arts and immigrant justice. In the politically divided time, the Borderlands Benefit gave people a chance to show their support for justice that transcends racial, political and socioeconomic lines. The event supported the work of NMILC, which empowers low-income immigrant communities through collaborative legal services, advocacy and education; and upcoming 2018 exhibition at 516 ARTS titled The U.S./Mexico Border: Place, Imagination and Possibility.

Jimmy Santiago Baca, a renowned poet of Chicano and Apache descent, was abandoned as a child and began to read and write poetry in prison. His prolific career includes over a dozen books of poetry as well as memoirs, essays, stories and a screenplay. Baca’s work is concerned with social justice and revolves around the marginalized and disenfranchised. He holds an honorary PhD in literature from UNM.

Las Flores del Valle (Carol Vigil and Leila Flores Dueñas) sing to preserve the many musical genres that are native to these Borderlands. Their harmonies have been compared to the women’s hermana duetos, or sister-duos, that were famous among Spanish-speaking communities in the 1930s and 1960s.

Liza Wolff-Francis read from Language of Crossing, a collection of poetry that mirrors the true heart-stories along the US/Mexico border. Giving face, voice and humanity to all those who make their way across fronteras, her work is that of a necessary endeavor. Her poems, brutally honest and minute, rouse compassion as all good poetry must and begs the question of accountability.Enjoy music, drinks and fine food while supporting two important organizations! Cash, check, or credit card donations will be accepted at the event. To learn more about NMILC, please visit