A diverse cross-section of immigrants and refugees from five continents who came to Fairfield County seeking safety and opportunity is the focus of a dynamic exhibition that shines a spotlight on the human capacity for hope and perseverance. Organized originally by the Fairfield Museum and History Center and Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI), and expanded by the Greenwich Historical Society, the exhibition opens October 2 and runs through January 6, 2020. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon - 4:00 pm.
Touching accounts of 10 immigrants' often perilous journeys from Cambodia, Chile, Congo, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Hungary, India, Rwanda, Syria, and Venezuela are featured on dramatic banners suspended from the Historical Society's museum gallery ceiling. A dynamic wall of historic and contemporary photos illustrates how many other individuals, including 12 immigrants to Greenwich from Chile, Italy, India, Mexico, Moldavia and the Soviet Union, have sought opportunity and added to the fabric of Fairfield County's communities.
"An American Story: Finding Home in Fairfield County" is a beautiful portrayal of the experiences of refugees and immigrants who have built new lives in Fairfield County," said Claudia Connor, President and CEO of the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI). "We premiered the exhibit at Fairfield Museum and History Center in 2018 in celebration of our 100th anniversary. Highlighting the story of so many immigrants and refugees was an extraordinary way to showcase the work CIRI has done since its founding in 1918 - and the importance of the work going forward."
"The exhibition recently won an Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History for its achievement in civic engagement, as well as its preservation and interpretation of state and local history," continued Connor. "This is so validating for the many immigrants and refugees who have rebuilt their lives and created a sense of home in Connecticut. We are thrilled to bring An American Story to Greenwich in partnership with the Greenwich Historical Society and are excited to share new stories from the Greenwich community."
"I am inspired by this poignant and visually stunning exhibition of immigrants and refugees who risked everything to achieve a better life and, in the process, have enriched our lives here in Fairfield County," says Debra Mecky, Executive Director and CEO of the Greenwich Historical Society. "We are extremely grateful to the Fairfield Museum and History Center and CIRI for their partnership in enabling us to present and expand these stories to include more of our Greenwich neighbors. The theme is timely and aligns perfectly with our mission for strengthening the community's connection to our past, to each other and to our future."
Learn more at greenwichhistory.org.