On Friday evening, November 5th, we went to the Current Gallery at the 78th Street Studios in Cleveland to attend the opening night event of “Making Home: A Refugee and Immigrant Art Exhibition” which displayed the work of foreign-born artists from such countries as Iraq, Mexico, Ukraine, Italy, and the Congo as well as that of students from Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy.
This happening was presented by US Together whose mission is to provide services to refugees and those who have immigrated to the United States “through education, advocacy, support, community building, referrals, and networking opportunities.”
Along these lines, special credit must be given to Ms. Liv Randall, US Together Community Engagement and Development Specialist, who was primarily responsible for organizing the showing.
In addition to viewing the lovely artwork and munching samosas from Habesha Ethiopian and Eritrean Restaurant, we listened to compelling speeches by Ms. Nadia Kasvin and Mr. Ron Hedrick who are, respectively, the Co-Founder of US Together and the Director of its Cleveland office as well as Reverend Amanda Moseng of the Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights.
In addition, we watched a video that contained a message by Mr. Mark Hetfield, President of HIAS which dispenses “vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world and advocates for their fundamental rights so they can rebuild their lives.
We were especially touched by Reverend Moseng whose message contained the following words:
“As we gather here tonight, we can see this beautiful artwork made from different mediums, different styles, different sources of inspiration.
Likewise, we all come from different places, have different backgrounds, different experiences.
There is so much to be learned from other people, from other cultures, and from other experiences. There is an immense value from getting to know and building relationships with others.
We miss out on the fullness of diversity when we do not welcome people from other places and cultures.”