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!!!

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!


Redeemer Cup

In October of 2006, the New York Times wrote an article called Where Young Refugees Find a Place to Fit In. The article talks about soccer in Utica as a resource that brings new refugees together.

Many of the young refugees say they owe their survival here to soccer, a respite from trying, chaotic and often lonely lives (Santos, 2006).

Today, soccer is still a major part of refugee lives. I recently ran into a friend who came from Burma three years ago with her two sons. She said both her boys play soccer – she has to drive all over with them to games.

Redeemer Cup Teams

The Redeemer Church recognized this fact and in 2010 started the Redeemer Cup. The Redeemer Cup is a full on soccer tournament World Cup-style. It is designed so that each team represents a different cultural portion of our community. It  is becoming an annual event in the Utica, NY area and is a great way to support the community and encourage cultural unity.

Redeemer Church Rick Andrew organizes the event. Andrew said those interested must be between the ages of 15 and 50 to play. One leader of a team must organize a group to compete. There’s usually about 16 teams representing different refugee groups in the area.

The 2012 tournament will take place June 2nd and 3rd at Proctor Park in Utica. Starting Over will be there to document the event – be sure to look for the Redeemer Cup display at our Gallery event in December!

For more information, visit or check out this informational video: