International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA)
The NEA grant will support design improvements at Spanish Revival performance venues in a rural town in the Sonoran Desert. The project includes the commissioning and creation of architectural designs, with input from local residents through community meetings, to improve the performance stages of Recreation Hall, Curley School Auditorium, and the Oasis Theater, as well as the designs for the complete renovation of the Oasis Theater. The primary partners are ISDA, which has been restoring and revitalizing Ajo's town center for the past decade, along with Pima County and the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts. The project will bring people together from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds to share memories of when Ajo was three separate communities: Indian Village, Mexican Town, and the Ajo Anglo Townsite. Ajo, Arizona, is a town of 4,435 people, with a population mix of approximately 40% Mexican and 30% Native American and a poverty rate of 31.3%.