World Music at our Premiere Event

We had some great performers during the World Music session at our Premier Event! Thanks to all the participants for making it a great event and for the wonderful attentive audience!

Songs of Love and Peace in 3 languages with Daniel Cribb. The first one is Karen song and the title is “Bah Ma Nuu Khoe” (Why). The second one is Burmese and the title is “Min Ko Chit Yin” (If I Love You). The last song is “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Bhutanese Nepali Folk Song 1. Thank you to the musicians, including Tek, Shyam, Santa, Dil, and Tila and to the beautiful dancers too, Dorna and Guyatri!

Bhutanese Nepali Women’s Dance. The musicians invited their mothers up on stage for a “Mom’s Dance.”

Shyam San Rai Nepali Dance.

Bhutanese Nepali Folk Dance party.
Thank you, Santa Rai and “Bhutanese-Nepali Folk” Friends!!!

Field Trip with New Hartford High School and local Refugee Students

On December 19th, the Global History class of Susie Hamilton at New Hartford High School came for a visit to the Refugees Starting Over Gallery Show. The students came to learn more about refugee resettlement and life in refugee camps.

Photo by Matthew Kopytowski
Photo by Matthew Kopytowski

We are so grateful that the American and Refugee Students for Closer Connection (ARSCC) were able to participate in the field trip. These young refugees volunteered their time to meet with the American high school students in smaller break out groups where they discussed their lives and cultural changes after moving to Utica.

The students and volunteers

It was a great learning experience for the high school students and fun for the refugee students to interact with all. Thanks to all who participated!

Gallery Show Success!

Our Collaborative Gallery Show premiere on November 30th at SUNYIT was a huge success! We had a great turnout, including friends, community members and many from the refugee community!

Gallery Visitors

Starting at 4:30pm, “Starting Over: Portraits of Refugee Life in Utica, NY” at the Gannet Gallery was finally open for viewing. We worked on this project for over eight months and it was such a relief to be able to share our work!

Around 6pm, we moved down the hall to Gannet Gallery for the World Music Event.

Some of the crowd for the World Music Event

We haso many people come to check out this event, the Kunsela Auditorium was practically filled. During World Music Event we featured SUNYIT student Erica on piano, then Karen-Burmese refugee and Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees employee Daniel Cribb performing Songs of Love and Peace, and finally a group of Bhutanese-Nepali performers singing and dancing to various folk and traditional songs. Check out this playlist on YouTube of the performances:

Around 7pm we introduced Utica Firefly documentary appropriately called ‘Starting Over,” produced by Geoff Storm and Ryan Miller. We are so happy and proud of how this turned out and thankful to the film’s participants.

Starting Over from Utica Firefly on Vimeo.

Check out bonus footage from the documentary on our website!

We ended the night with live stories from the audience. We had many community and refugee members participate and it was a moving and enlightening experience for many.

Pawser Soe, telling her story during Utica Firefly Storytelling Hour

Thank you so much to the local media who came out to support the show!
Check out the story from the Utica OD and WKTV!

For more information on this project, please keep an eye on our Facebook page!