To coincide with the CHS exhibit Growing Up in Connecticut, the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program presents an evening of conversation on this topic with several speakers from a diverse range of Connecticut communities.
Voices of Wisdom: Growing Up in Connecticut begins with a reception to welcome visitors, then we will gather for an informal presentation of stories and oral narrative. Audience members will be invited to ask questions and discuss the presentations with the speakers.
Artists and speakers will include Manola Sidara, a Laotian dancer, educator, and chef who came to the US as a refugee and settled in Connecticut where she is raising two daughters; Walt Scadden, a blacksmith who grew up in the multicultural Front Street area with his Irish family; Leticia Cotto, a librarian and educator from a Puerto Rican family that traveled back often to the island; and Marek Czarnecki, an iconographer from the Bristol Polish community. Additional presenters from other communities will also participate, and anyone who wishes to share similar stories is welcome.
The event is the second in a series that presents some of the state’s artists and tradition bearers who relate their unique experiences and perspectives from other cultures. Many of these skilled speakers also recite narratives of how their group immigrated to Connecticut.
The goals of the project are to give Greater Hartford audiences a chance to hear oral traditions and cultural narratives important to groups of people who are living here now. We don’t often get to hear these voices in our society, but the historical and cultural content can teach us much about resilience, values, wisdom and humor of our new neighbors or the state’s original peoples and settlers. The project also honors the language diversity and poetry that can be found in the cultural expressions of ordinary people with extraordinary knowledge and gifts of speech. Rather than professional or performance-oriented storytelling, our project presents narratives grounded in the speakers’ personal experience and cultural roots.
The event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP by Friday, September 30 by email [email protected] or phone (860) 236-5621 x238.
For further information, email Lynne Williamson or call 860-236-5621 x 235.