How Did We Get Here?

The exhibition and event series How Did We Get Here? took place November 1st – 24th, 2019 to enrich the local dialogue on migration and displacement in a community response to the show how the light gets in at the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell.

How Did We Get Here? attracted well over 500 participants through 9 events at the CAP ArtSpace Gallery and Cinemapolis.

Schedule of Events 11/1 - 11/24/2019

Nov 1 (Fri): Gallery Night at the CAP ArtSpace Gallery featuring political cartoons created and/or curated by current Ithaca City of Asylum resident artist Pedro X Molina; a series of immigration and migration stories from the project and book “Their Story is Our Story”, curated by Ithaca College Associate Professor, Paul Wilson; and a series of posters from Ithaca College students in response to the issues in the “how the light gets in” exhibition at the Johnson Museum. This exhibit will continue at the CAP ArtSpace Gallery through the month of November.
5 – 8pm, CAP ArtSpace Gallery


Nov 3 (Sun): A Sense of Home: A Panel Discussion exploring immigration beyond the wall. Listen to stories from a wide perspective of local immigrant experience. Who comes to Ithaca? Why do they come? How do they see themselves? Help us move the conversation beyond the stereotypes. 
4 – 6pm, CAP ArtSpace Gallery


Nov 5 (Tue): Ithaca College Professor & filmmaker Idrissou Mora-Kpai screening and discussion of his film, “Indochina – Traces of a Mother”.
7pm, Cinemapolis


Nov 8 (Fri): Community Converation
6 – 8pm, CAP ArtSpace Gallery


Nov 9 (Sat): How did you get here? What kind of life did you find? How does it compare to the promise or myth of America? Residents will tell their personal five-minute migration stories in a Moth-style storytelling event. At the end, host Raza Rumi, director of the Park Center for Independent Media, will moderate a 30-minute Q&A session with the storytellers. The stories will later be broadcast on WRFI, the community radio station for Ithaca and Watkins Glen. 
3 – 5pm, CAP ArtSpace Gallery


Nov 10 (Sun): Members of the local Karen Community (originally from Myanmar/Burma) will share their experience of leaving life in a refugee camp and re-settling in Ithaca. They’ll be talking about a new Ithaca mural project, painted by Karen youth in the 4-H Urban Outreach Program, and the experience of finding “home” here in the Ithaca area across 3 generations. 
3 – 5pm, CAP ArtSpace Gallery


Nov 16 (Sat)Journalism in Exile
Sonali Samarasinghe, Raza Rumi & Pedro X. Molina Journalists Sonali Samarasinghe (Sri Lanka), Raza Rumi (Pakistan), and Pedro X. Molina (Nicaragua) were all deeply involved in their countries’ political life. All were forced to flee under the threat of violence. And all ended up in Ithaca as writers-in-residence with Ithaca City of Asylum. In this informal discussion, they share their stories about the challenges and rewards of living, working, and staying connected in a faraway place very different from home. 
3 – 5pm, ArtSpace Gallery.


Nov 17 (Sun): Lost for Words: A Celebration of Linguistic Diversity and Language Learning in Ithaca Meet fellow language learners, share struggles and successes and get inspired. Do you have a bilingual child, partner or friend? Trying to maintain a culture while adapting to a new one? Are you a teacher, language learner or both? Meet the fabulous people from Open Doors English and get involved in the exciting journey of being multilingual.
3 – 5pm, CAP ArtSpace Gallery


Nov 24 (Sun)“No Place Like Home” or “Where do we go from here” Community Café : Community members explore the meaning of home, belonging and community together with next steps to make Ithaca a place where everyone feels welcome. From life long Ithacans to those who have recently arrived and everyone in between, all are invited.
3 – 5pm, CAP ArtSpace Gallery

How Did We Get Here? was organized by an ad hoc consortium of individuals and community groups. WEAVE Community organized and hosted the effort.

Open Doors English