Music on The Move

Music on the Move is a special FREE event series that explores the role of music, dance, and other performative arts in San Diego’s vibrant and diverse refugee, asylee, and migrant communities.* Our events showcase the inspiring stories of individuals and groups who have left their homelands due to political and religious persecution, war, climate change, human rights violations, hunger, financial hardship, and other challenges.

Musical Journey (RSVP Required)
Saturday, June 3, 2023, @ 2 PM at Mingei International Museum

Border Stories
Saturday, June 10, 2023, @ 2 PM at the Front Arte Cultura Gallery in San Ysidro

Strength in Community
Saturday, June 17, 2023, @ 2 PM at the City Heights Performing Annex

Drawing on the research methods of ethnomusicology, we focus on the experiences of diaspora communities as they navigate their new home and strive to preserve their cultural values. Our events provide a platform for cultural communities to share their stories through music, dance, and other forms of artistic expression.

Since June 2022, Pablo Dodero and Monica Emery have reached into San Diego’s diverse communities to identify and have conversations with musicians and dancers. Through countless interviews, they explored the vital role of the performing arts in recreating a sense of home and belonging.

By providing a space for communities to speak about their experiences and ways of honoring their heritage, we aim to honor their desire to cultivate new narratives around their identities. After identifying cross-cutting themes and similarities among certain groups, we have planned an event series that amplifies the voices of these individuals and communities and strengthens the ties among them.

We are excited to present a series of three events on June 3, 10, and 17 in recognition of World Refugee Day (June 20) and World Music Day (June 21). Join us for an unforgettable experience featuring live music and dance performances, testimonials, and thought-provoking discussion panels with community members and artists.

Come and be part of the celebration as we honor the rich cultural diversity of San Diego’s refugee, asylee, and migrant communities through the power of music and the performing arts.

Project Coordinator: Pablo Dodero

This program was made possible by the City of San Diego, the Commission for Arts and Culture, the Peacemakers Fund, U.S. Congress Member Juan Vargas, Julie and Matt Harelson, Larry Cohen, and Tim Paradise.

*Amnesty International defines refugee, asylum seeker, and migrant as terms used to “describe people who are on the move, who have left their countries and have crossed borders.” For more information, please visit