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Bend activist holds second annual THIRST event for artists to support humanitarian aid at the border

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Over 70 artists will raise money for nonprofits supporting border humanitarian aid efforts in the second annual virtual THIRST: Artists for Humanitarian Aid sale taking place from July-2-9.

The virtual event will benefit No More Deaths/No Más Muertes and The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, two organizations geared toward ending suffering and death in the US/Mexico borderlands. The event will feature 10 Oregon-based artists. Six of these artists live in Central Oregon.

“This project is based in humanity and mutual aid.” said THIRST Director and Bend attorney/advocate Cassandra Kehoe. “What is happening at our borders is deeply unconscionable. Artists are banding together to make a difference and support humanitarian efforts in our borderlands - including water drops in the desert and providing legal representation to asylum-seekers in detention facilities."

Artists from across the United States, as well as Mexico, Canada, England and the United Arab Emirates, have contributed pieces to the event, including local artist June Park (they/their), who is a Patricia Clark Artist in Residence at the Scalehouse Gallery in Bend.

The THIRST Virtual Shop opened on Saturday, July 2, and artwork listings will be found on the event’s website, Items for sale include paintings, ceramics, prints, metalwork, glass and jewelry.

In 2021, the event raised over $11,000 for nonprofits No More Deaths/No Más Muertes and Casa Alitas.
Each artist has set the price for their artwork and decides what percentage they will donate to the humanitarian aid organizations. Most are donating at least 70% percent of the proceeds to the nonprofits.

“I became interested in participating in THRST 2022 because I am passionate about creating positive social and environmental change; I believe artists -- particularly organized groups of artists -- are very
capable of creating this change,” said Tucson-based artist Maria Renée, who has spent much of her life
near the border in both Arizona and Sonora. “I am horrified by the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the

Kehoe, who also serves as a commissioner on the City of Bend’s Human Rights and Equity Commission, envisions that the art event will not only provide monetary support to organizations on the front line of the border crisis, but will also help to raise continued awareness.

“The recent horrific human tragedy of 51 migrants found dead in a semi truck in Texas depicts the struggle: the desperation for asylum and the need to end the cruel implementation of Title 42,” Kehoe said. “We need to wholly overhaul our border policies. This humble project is looking to make a little bit of a difference in the struggle.”

Event Website:

Article Topic Follows: Arts

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