Manchester, NH – The Currier Museum of Art highlights part of New Hampshire’s new immigrant community – both its struggles and accomplishments – in its presentation of New Threads: An American Quilt Story now through July 9 in the Community Gallery.
The exhibition features artwork made of African fabrics and a collaborative quilt that tells the story of traveling from war-torn Burundi in Eastern Africa to the challenges and successes of life in Manchester, NH. This showcases the Currier’s two-year long outreach initiative with Rubia Inc.’s Sewing Confidence class, a program where women from new immigrant and refugee families from Burundi, Rwanda and the Congo receive education and resources to foster sustainable business endeavors.
After fleeing ethnic conflict in Burundi in 1972, the women represented in New Threads lived in exile in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 1994 Rwandan/ Burundian genocide spilled over the borders, forcing them to flee again to refugee camps in Tanzania. Through a UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) resettlement program, these women and their families came to the United States to settle in Manchester, NH which is a host community for new arrivals, among other New Hampshire locations like Concord and Laconia.
"New Threads gives us all an opportunity to reflect on the role of art in everyday life as well as what it means to become part of a new community," said Susan Bartlett, Director of Rubia's Sewing Confidence Program. Adding, "This has been a wonderful collaboration between Rubia and the Currier and we look forward to working together again, as we celebrate the art and culture of these industrious women.”
The Currier’s partnership with Rubia, Inc. is part of an outreach initiative called Art From Art, which provides community-based programs for schools and other organizations in New Hampshire. Today, as the need for supplemental art education increases in the region, the Currier Museum Art Center outreach program reaches over 600 people every year – making a real difference for students in after-school programs, individuals with disabilities, new immigrants and others.
Taught by Currier Museum Art Center faculty, Art From Art is a creative arts program that brings the museum to the community. The core curriculum consists of four weeks of multi-media art lessons focusing on the museum’s collection.
The Community Gallery, located on the ground floor of the museum, is sponsored by Century Bank. The museum is located at 150 Ash Street, Manchester, NH. Open every day except Tuesday. Museum admission: adults $10; seniors $9; students $8; children age 17 and under are always admitted free. Admission free for all on Saturdays from 11 am to 1 pm. More information: www.currier.org or call 603.669.6144 x108.