An American Story

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. With generous support from Newman’s Own Foundation.

Programs in conjunction with the exhibition include:


Museum After Dark Series
Programs begin at 6:30pm, preceded by a wine and cheese reception  from 6 – 6:30pm.
Stories of Hope: From Rwanda to America | Thurs, February 22, 6 – 8pm

Listen and learn about the experiences of siblings Daniel Trust (Ndamwizeye) and Evelyne Mukasonga, survivors of the Rwandan genocide who came to CT as refugees. Find out more >>

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. Find out more >>

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.

Film Series
“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.

“Shirin’s Dream” to be shown on June 9.

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.