about Peaceful Sky Benefit

The Peaceful Sky Benefit is civic action in response to the U.S. A.F. SUA Optimization, proposed 2022. It is a grassroots endeavor by concerned citizens, unaffiliated with any agency or organization.

The story of the Peaceful Sky Benefit is not only that all involved share the awareness that these plans are unacceptable. There is a clear pattern connecting New Mexico and Arizona areas of past and present military or industrial debasement with areas critical for unique ecology and societal redress. We are a diversity of individuals, asking for this dereliction of governmental duty to be reformed.

This region supports an unusually complex, international network of wildlife, as well as the heritage of Nations older than the U.S. Federal Government. Unless the goal is never-ending conflict and harm, permission for operations of such extreme impact as mining, military aircraft training, and physical barriers along the border must be considered with more responsibility and humanity, not authorized outside public purview.

Furthermore, there is a tendency for bureaucracy and consolidated power to stave-off grassroots collaboration, especially between dissimilar groups. Our endeavor maintains that finding ways to collaborate, particularly when it may be difficult, is itself a meaningful act of dissent.

Ultimately, the story of the Peaceful Sky Benefit is the many people from different backgrounds, who united their talents without the help of an established organization, to affirm these unacceptable plans are a piece of a much bigger picture which must finally be reformed.

Note - This effort borrows the concept of a peaceful sky from Peaceful Chiricaua Skies and Peaceful Gila Skies, two separate online groups that are the best place to learn about the U.S. A.F. SUA Optimization proposals in New Mexico and Arizona.

A heartfelt thank you to all participants, our GoFundMe contributors, and our community and business supporters: Best Life Presents, Copper Canyon Trails, EVERYBODY, Ruchikala, Indent Books & Magazines, Sand-Reckoner Vineyards

Events Schedule

Exclusive prints of art and photography by regional artists Monica Aissa Martinez, Ahchipaptunhe, and Julius Schlosburg were available to concert-goers who donated $20 or more directly to selected organizations defending threatened regional lands.

Pidgin Palace Arts The Southwest Improvisers Convergence

Co-facilitated by Michael Begay & Thollem

Compositions by Raven Chacon and Michael Begay, plus free and structured improvisations with Chelsey Lee Trejo, Edie Tsong, Chris Jonas, Red Cell, Carlos Santistevan, Igloo Martian, Dan Howarth, Rob Wallace, Cyrus Campbell, Brian McOmber, Naïm Amor, Lauren Sarah Hayes, Vicki Brown, and Navajo (Diné) Nation Poet Laureate Laura Tohe, screening of ACVilla’s 2016 video project 'Who Are US'

Hotel Congress An Evening of Desert Voices

featuring Sage Bond, Just Najima, Flor de Nopal, Ruben Cu:k Ba’ak, Poetry by Crisosto Apache, & Art by Lynnette Haozous

Hotel Congress A Night of Underground Sounds

Unwound, Quasi, Hot Pursuit Of Happiness & Sonya Blade

Groundworks Sonoran-fueled Jam, Folk, & Rock

Los Velvets / Gabrielle Pietrangelo / Compersion

Meet the Artists

Impact Info

U.S. Air Force SUA Optimization, New Mexico and Arizona

Affected Zones

The most severe escalations are in the areas marked Outlaw, Jackal, Morenci, Reserve, and Tombstone. Please see the map. Key Wilderness Areas (and their corresponding National Forests) affected by the proposals in part or entirety, are listed. Additionally, the Cochise Stronghold area AZ, and the Chiricahua National Park/ Monument AZ, are adjacent to areas noted for the most severe escalations.

National Gila Wilderness NM
Catwalk National Scenic Trail NM
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail NM
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument
NM National Blue Range Wilderness NM
National Chiricahua Wilderness AZ
National Galiuro Wilderness AZ
Safford Recreation Area / Mt Graham
National Aravaipa Wilderness AZ
BLM Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness AZ
BLM Needle's Eye Wilderness AZ
BLM Santa Teresa Wilderness AZ
BLM Fishhooks Wilderness AZ
BLM Redfield Canyon Wilderness AZ
BLM Dos Cabezas Mountains Wilderness AZ
BLM Peloncillo Mountains Wilderness AZ
BLM Arrastra Mountain Wilderness AZ
BLM Rawhide Mountains Wilderness AZ
BLM Harcuvar Mountains Wilderness AZ

Escalations Proposed Include

⁃ Lowering the floor for aircraft training of Tombstone MOA to 100 feet above ground level and lowering the floors of Outlaw, Jackal, Bagdad, and Gladden MOAs to 500 feet above ground level.
⁃ Authorizing the use of chaff in Tombstone MOA.
⁃ Lowering the altitude for releasing flares in Tombstone, Outlaw, Jackal, Bagdad, and Gladden MOAs to 2,000 feet above ground level.
⁃ Authorizing supersonic speed down to 5,000 feet AGL in Tombstone, Outlaw, Jackal, Morenci, and Reserve MOAs.
⁃ The horizontal expansion of Tombstone MOA would not occur, but the floor of Tombstone MOA would still be lowered to 100 feet AGL. To make up for this loss of training airspace, the floor of the Jackal MOA would be lowered to 100 feet above ground level.
⁃ The supersonic operations would be authorized down to 10,000 feet AGL in Tombstone, Outlaw, Jackal, Morenci, and Reserve MOAs instead of 5,000 feet above ground level.

Learn More:

Peaceful Chiricaua Skies
Peaceful Gila Skies
US Air Force SUA



The mission of the Peaceful Sky Benefit is to advance public awareness regarding the dangers of US Air Force SUA Optimization proposals released at Arizona Regional Air Space EIS. It is a grassroots community-led endeavor.

Budget Structure

The Peaceful Sky Benefit events were funded entirely by community contributions and coordinated entirely by volunteers.

Net ticket proceeds raised by the events were designated to benefit other projects or organizations advancing protection or public awareness in response to the dangers of the US Air Force proposals in question. Projects such as public art, community-listening work, peaceful opposition, research/networking, journalism, formal resolution, legal action, and ads promoting public awareness/action are examples of potentially qualifying beneficiary activities.

Beneficiaries’ Responsibilities and Benefits

If not already engaged in a qualifying beneficiary activity, beneficiaries provided a statement a receipt of their commitment to using funds acquired via the event towards furthering protection or public awareness in response to the US Air Force proposals in question.
Southwest Native Nations-focused projects matching this description had precedence in becoming a beneficiary of the Peaceful Sky Benefit.

Event beneficiaries, and other public awareness projects or organizations working on related issues (such as protection of conservation areas or Native Lands/Sacred Sites from military or industrial harms, and history or current affairs of environmental and humanitarian costs of militarism) had the opportunity to table at the event(s).

In addition to merchandise table space for participating performers, the event(s) made support and space available for tabling of up to approximately four public awareness projects or organizations, at each hosting venue.

The Peaceful Sky Benefit provided free materials to public awareness projects/organizations tabling at the events, for use as thank you gifts for donations. The Peaceful Sky Benefit offered thank you prints to volunteer performers who participated in the events.

The Peaceful Sky Benefit GoFundMe campaign was established to collect contributions expressly to provide sponsorship stipends to participating artists traveling from outside Tucson, offset overhead, or be added to any net proceeds for donation to beneficiaries. Southwest Native Nations artists were given precedence in the allocation of sponsorships.

Sponsorship stipends for participants were based on artists’ level of resource limitation, total mileage traveled/mode of travel (up to $.25/automobile mile), number of meals needed (up to $60/day, two day maximum), and required lodging (up to $150/night, two night maximum). Sponsorship stipends were limited to no more than $500 per participant.

Artists who gave permission to use their work to print materials for the benefit of tabling projects/organizations at the events, or as thank you gifts for volunteer performers, were not paid, but received a limited number of the printed materials created, as a thank you gift.

Proceeds and travel stipends were donated promptly/directly to event beneficiary projects/organizations and participants. No funds were paid to event coordinators, volunteers, or to any entity other than qualifying event beneficiaries and participants.

Community Support and Official Sponsorship

If mutually agreed upon, individuals, groups, or companies that contribute at least $100.00 to the event GoFundMe may be named, thanked, and linked in promotional posts and materials for providing community support to Peaceful Sky Benefit activities.

If mutually agreed upon, 501c3 organizations or community projects need not contribute to the Peaceful Sky Benefit GoFundMe to be named, thanked, or linked in promotional posts and materials for providing community support to Peaceful Sky Benefit activities.

If mutually agreed upon, individuals, groups, or companies that contribute at least $500.00 to the Peaceful Sky Benefit GoFundMe may be named, thanked, and linked as an Official Sponsor of Peaceful Sky Benefit activities.


The Peaceful Sky Benefit concert events occurred 2/19/2023-2/22/2023.


The Peaceful Sky Benefit GoFundMe is linked to an otherwise unused, checking account, established expressly for the Peaceful Sky Benefit.

Review the Peaceful Sky Benefit Fiscal Disclosure Report