Traveling Exhibit Highlights Stories of Young Immigrants
NEW ULM, MN - An interactive photo exhibit in New Ulm, called Immigration: Becoming American, is telling the stories of young immigrants and their experiences. Participants could use their smartphones to scan a QR code and watch a short video about the immigrants.
Anne Makepeace, director of the Grand Center For Arts and Culture said, "There are a lot of different experiences of immigrants and it's a better understanding of what it took for them to come here, what it took for them to integrate and become American."
One student who was from Saudi Arabia said, "I was excited because people told me that U.S.A. is the great place to be."
April Ide, assistant library director in New Ulm, said, "A lot of them felt like they have to learn about the customs and the culture in the United States but it seems like a lot of them have adapted quickly."
"Some had a really difficult time coming here, some had a really difficult time where they came from," said Makepeace.
"It was like a little bit dangerous to go outside and play with my friends," said an immigrant from Central America.
"Most of the shops were burned. Most of them got killed. Some women got raped, " the student from Saudi Arabia said.
America was more than just an escape from a tough life. It was an opportunity.
"They have all kinds of ideas about their future," Makepeace said.
"I'm taking nursing assisting right now. I'm thinking about going to college, but I want to improve my English," one of the students said.
Many had to leave their families behind.
An immigrant from Myanmar said, "I'm the only one who wanted to come to the U.S, when I was like 10 or 12. I talked to my father and my mother. They don't want to come because they don't know any English."
Their stories will make you think about the difficulties and promises of immigrating to America.
Makepeace said, "It's very diverse. I thought it was very powerful."
The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You have until February 27 to see it.