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Immigrant Experiences

We are a community, and a nation, of immigrants. During May and June, we will explore different experiences through art exhibits, personal histories, events, and books. We invite you to learn from and share with your neighbors as we celebrate our varied backgrounds and diverse cultures. 
These programs and events have been planned in partnership with community organizations to recognize Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in May and Immigrant Heritage Month in June.
Artwork by Wen-ti Tsen, Concord NH #6: Sylva and Farid, oil on canvas, 48"x96"
Artwork by Wen-ti Tsen, Concord NH #6: Sylva and Farid, oil on canvas, 48"x96" 

Wen-ti Tsen, artist

May 1 through June 30
Wen-ti Tsen is a painter and public artist. He was born in China, lived in Paris and London before coming to the U.S. to study at Boston Museum School. Since the 1970s, he has made art that explores cultural connections. His work takes the forms of paintings, mixed media installations, large-scale sculptural works in public spaces, and community art projects working with grassroots organizations. 
Some of his works featured at the library include Home Town: Re-presentation of Boston’s Chinatown as Place of People, a set of 12 life-size figures of late 19th century Chinese immigrants that were displayed around throughout Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood; Concord, NH, a series of 4’x8’ paintings that show the daily lives of two of Tsen’s old friends from Beirut; and The Asian American Comic Book, a collaborative effort with the Asian American Resource Workshop, which depicts the lives of Asian Americans before coming to the United States and their experiences after immigrating.
Tsen’s art will be on display at the library from May 1 through June 30. The opening reception, including a talk by the artist, will be Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL). Tsen will also speak on Wednesday, June 13 at 3 p.m. Both events will take place in the Living Room.
Figures from Home Town: Re-presentation of Boston’s Chinatown as Place of People will be located throughout the library on all three floors.Artwork by Wen-ti Tsen, Home Town: Re-presentation of Boston's Chinatown as a Place of People
Piper Gallery

Concord, NH paintings
Pierce Gallery

Concord, NH paintings
Large Meeting Room
The Asian-American Comic Book


Two residents of Lexington sharing personal immigration stories

Immigrant Stories of Lexington

May 1 through June 30
Lexington residents have generously shared their own immigration stories in a video-based oral history project. These stories capture the diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and cultures in Lexington. Additional DVD copies of these interviews are available in the circulating collection. These videos will be on display at the Idea Wall on the main floor from May 1 through June 30.

Bollywood Beats

Saturday, May 5, 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. 
In partnership with the Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL), the Cary Memorial Library Foundation is hosting an evening of various regional folk dances, Bollywood dancing, henna, and saree draping.
Note: this event does charge admission of $10. Tickets may be purchased through the Foundation. 


Photographed closeup portrait for A Long Separation program at Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, MAA Long Separation | 오랜 이별

Saturday, May 12, 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
For four years, artist Laura Elizabeth Pohl has been photographing and interviewing people separated from their family in North Korea since the Korean War. She says, “The year 2018 marks 65 years since the Korean War ended in an armistice. It also marks 65 years since spouses, siblings, parents, and children, who became separated during the war, ended up permanently split, living on different sides of a heavily-militarized border. Thousands of South Koreans and South Korean immigrants to the United States are still divided from their loved ones in North Korea. Over 60% are 80 years or older. As these separated family members pass away in the next couple decades, so will all direct family ties and living memories between the two Koreas. At this time of uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula, I want people to reflect on the personal, unseen, long-term unintended consequences of the Korean War specifically, and war in general." 

Exploring Korean Food with Korean Organization of Lexington

Monday, May 21, 7:00 p.m., Large Meeting Room
Join local residents and learn more about Korean culture through food and how Korea has changed over the years. The evening will include a brief presentation on Korea then and now, a demonstration on the Hanbok, the traditional Korean clothing and will end with sharing of Korean food. 

Suitcase Stories Unpacked: Storytelling Workshops and Showcase Event

Workshop dates: May 22 and 29; June 30
Suitcase Stories Unpacked is a popular storytelling workshop that provides local residents an opportunity to learn the art of storytelling. The workshop focuses on immigrant-related stories, but all residents are welcome. Immigration impacts everyone from newcomers to neighbors. Learn how to craft a compelling story from expert storytellers.
 Suitcase Stories Unpacked and Mass Cultural Council logosThis program is a collaboration between Massmouth, a Boston-based storytelling organization, and the International Institute of New England. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lexington Council for the Arts, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Registration is required.

Genealogy Workshops

Drop in to learn about the tools we have for researching your ancestors, or to ask specific questions about your family research. These sessions will be held throughout the month of June and do not require registration. Check the library’s online calendar for specific dates and times.