Remembering Charles Bowden


It is with a heavy heart that we share with you the passing of Charles Bowden in New Mexico August 30th. He was a journalist and writer who wasn’t afraid to take on the tough issues surrounding the border.

In 2003, Chuck was nominated for an Arizona Arts Award along with Eriks Rudans (mixed-media visual artist), Marsha Bagwell (actor and theater arts instructor), Susan Clasassen (actor and artistic director for Invisible Theater) and Mark Rossi (sculptor).  This prestigious honor was established by Mary Bartol here at the Community Foundation who wanted to give established artists the “gift of time and space” by awarding one of the nominees a $25,000 prize.  Between 1987 and 2006, she invested $570,000 in this program and was thrilled to be making a difference.

Though Erik was selected over the other nominees, Chuck was incredibly gracious throughout the process, offering a glimpse into his world by designing an exhibit for the judges that mimicked his home work space, complete with checked tablecloth and bottle of wine.

“At the time, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona was just beginning its important work as part of the Border Philanthropy Partnership,” said Barbara Brown, VP/Program Services and Community Initiatives. “His voice about what was really going on in Nogales, Sonora, was enlightening and helped inform the fledging Santa Cruz Community Foundation and its sister organization across the line, FESAC.  He will be missed.”