An American Story: Finding Home in Fairfield County
On View in the Spaght Gallery
February 8 – July 23, 2018
This exhibition highlights the experiences of refugees and immigrants who have built new lives in Fairfield County. A series of photographic portraits and biographical narratives share how eight individuals from Cambodia, Congo, Cuba, Hungary, India, Rwanda, and Syria have rebuilt their lives and created a sense of home. Seeking safety and opportunity here, refugees and immigrants from around the world have added to the fabric of our communities. The exhibition also honors the 100th anniversary of the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI), founded in 1918 to help new immigrants in their journey to making a home in Fairfield County.
Photographs by Caren Winnall. Special thanks to Lynne Penczer.
Programs in conjunction with the exhibition include:
Opening Reception | Thurs, February 8, 6pm – 8pm
Join us in recognizing those who shared their diverse experiences and
personal stories in An American Story, with remarks by Jack Leslie, a strategic communications executive, political consultant, and international development activist, on the current status of immigration and refugees in the United States.
Museum After Dark Series
Stories of Hope: From Rwanda to America | Thurs, February 22, 6 – 8pm
Award-winning senior political reporter for WSHU, Ebong Udoma, will moderate a discussion with siblings Daniel Trust (Ndamwizeye) and Evelyn Mukasonga, survivors of the Rwandan genocide who came to CT as refugees.
Women Rebuilding | Thurs, March 15, 6 – 8pm
Marco Werman, Senior Producer of Public Radio International’s The World, will moderate a discussion about women’s empowerment projects in Connecticut that are giving marginalized women opportunities including: Our Woven Community, Ratatouille, and IRIS.
Sanctuary: Interfaith Forum on Refugees | Thurs, April 19, 6 – 8pm
Discover the different ways that faith-based communities are offering diverse approaches to meet the needs of refugees and immigrants, with members of the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center, Fairfield Clergy Association, and The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, Inc.
“Refuge” with Filmmaker Josh Shelov | Sun, March 4, 4 – 5:30pm
This short documentary follows the experiences of Syrian refugees Fatima and Oday Al-Hamidi who arrived at a bus station in Bridgeport, Connecticut on September 22, 2016, along with their two young children.
History Bites Lunchtime Program
“Searching for Wordin Avenue” | Wed, March 28, 12:30 – 1:30pm
This film commemorates the Hungarian community in Bridgeport and the immigrant experience. Please bring your lunch. Beverages and dessert will be provided. The film is 54 minutes long.
“Rebuilding Hope” with Filmmaker Jen Marlowe | Sun, April 15, 4 – 5:30pm
This film traces the journey of Southern Sudanese “Lost Boys,” who were forced to flee Sudan as children in 1987. Twenty years later, Gabriel Deng, Koor Garang and Garang Mayuol return to discover the fate of their homes and families.
Kids & Family Programs
Family Focus: Architecture Around the World | Mon, April 9, 1:30 – 3pm
Using found objects and recycled materials, design, build and collaborate on a structure inspired by
architecture from around the world. Free! Sponsored by People’s United Bank.
Workshop: Adventures Around the World | Wed, April 11, 10am – 12pm. Ages 6 – 10.
Discover places around the world in the “An American Story” exhibition and create your own adventure picture book. Listen to stories of myths and legends to find inspiration for your own drawings with colored pencils, ink, and watercolors. Members: $15; Non-members: $20. Register online after March 1, 2018.
Storytime: Hope and Home | Wed, April 11, 10 – 10:30am
Discover the people who came to this country and the traditions they brought with them. Free! Sponsored by People’s United Bank.
Community Day | Sat, June 9, 10am – 2pm
Join us for performances, stories and hands-on activities. Short documentaries for ages 10 + will be shown from The Seventh Art Stand: Short Films From and About the Middle East for Young Audiences.
Curated by Northwest Film Forum.