More on Inocente, art and Oscar star, and the upcoming City We Love

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Inocente in her signature make-up.
  • Inocente in her signature make-up.
For most of her life, Inocente Izucar kept her possessions in garbage bags. Never unpacking meant that she, along with her mother and three brothers, could move at a moment’s notice.

From homeless shelter to homeless shelter, from sleeping in the park to sleeping on the floor in a schoolmate’s house, her family’s transience through San Diego should have snubbed out any aspiration of stability.

It should have discouraged creative output. It should have made her sensitive to the dark colors of the world. Should have. In the Academy Award-winning documentary Inocente, a film crew follows a then 15-year-old undocumented immigrant as she defies homelessness through her art. Each of her canvases brims with the optimism of bright colors, of playful brushstrokes and fantastic creatures.

Dream Centers of Colorado Springs will host a screening of the documentary as part of their City We Love fundraising event at the Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, Friday,  Aug. 30.

Dream Centers, an extension of New Life Church, is a nonprofit established in 2011 dedicated to aiding uninsured mothers and their children. It recently developed Mary’s Home, a new one-year program centered on health and security that provides shelter in a three-story apartment building.

Matthew Ayers, Dream Center executive director and City We Love organizer, says the film ties seamlessly into the vision of his nonprofit.

“Every single main theme that is running through this film is in alignment with the Dream Centers mission — the dreaming, holding on to hope. And these things, these things often have the weight to carry us out of the difficult situations and circumstances we face,” Ayers says.

City We Love will consist of three main parts. First, a silent auction will showcase artwork and photography from more than 30 local artists. Second, attendees will be informed about Dream Centers’ work and future plans. Third, Inocente will be screened. Following the film, Inocente herself will take questions from the audience. She will also have signed prints for sale.
Filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine with Inocente accepting their Oscars. - A.M.P.A.S.
  • A.M.P.A.S.
  • Filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine with Inocente accepting their Oscars.

Now 19, Inocente no longer keeps her belongings in garbage bags. Her clothes are hung up in her closet, shoes are lined up beside her door, and her paintings line the walls of her San Diego-area apartment. With the income she generates from selling paintings and prints, she is able to support herself.

Kathryn Stephens, director of development for A Reason To Survive (ARTS)  — the organization that discovered Inocente at 13 — says that ever since the Oscar win, Inocente has blossomed.

“She has become a wonderful speaker. She knows that she gives hope to a lot of people, and she reminds us of ways to cope in a healthy, productive way.”

You can find tickets for City We Love here, or watch all of Inocente, for free, here.




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