June 21 is World Refugee Day, which we have plenty of reason to honor here in Baltimore. Almost 15 million people across the world live as refugees, having fled political oppression, religious persecution or conflict. And each year, a fortunate few – less than 1% – qualify for the opportunity to restart their lives in the United States. The refugee and asylee agencies at the Baltimore Resettlement Center serve more than a thousand refugees and other humanitarian migrants every year. And so many of these folks have incredible stories to tell and talents to share, so we’re more than happy to head down to the Walters Art Museum this Saturday to celebrate and honor their lives and personal histories.
The afternoon’s programming begins with Congolese Dance lessons from brothers Tresor & Daniel Echa in Sculpture Court from 12:30pm-1pm. This will be followed by “Slaves to Fashion,” a short film by Congolese teen Evodie Ngoy of Wide Angle Youth Media at 1pm. Then we’re in for some powerful spoken word from Bilphena Yahwon, native of Liberia. Dances of the world follow; with pieces by women native of Nepal, Burundi, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia, and even the US. There will also be an art exhibition by BCCC’s Refugee Youth Project, New Roots gardeners of International Rescue Committee, and VisionWorkshops in Sculpture Court, and an interactive family art activity, throughout the afternoon.
Baltimore’s World Refugee Day Celebration will take place at the Walters Art Museum on Saturday, June 21 from 12pm-2:30pm. The event is free. For more information, visit www.creativealliance.org.