Finding Home in New Hampshire
The Monadnock Region is bringing special attention to cultural diversity in the month of September 2022. To support the Keene International Festival on September 24th, area businesses and nonprofits are working on a collaborative celebration of Diversity in the 603. Organized by Keene Immigrant and Refugee Partnership (KIRP) and Project Home, and the Historical Society of Cheshire County this celebration will include photographs, stories, presentations, and conversations that will bring understanding and welcome to our new American neighbors.
Featured will be the work of New Hampshire photographer, Becky Field. For the last 10 years, she has been documenting the lives of immigrants in a body of work, “Different Roots, Common Dreams.” Her images show the determination of people to find safety, education, work, and freedom. In addition to her photographs of New Hampshire immigrants, Field also transcribes the memories of people about life in their home country and the journey to find a new home. She has published two books of her photographs and immigrants’ memories. Field’s work shows the vitality of cultural diversity that adds to our communities.
Field’s photos can be seen at several venues throughout the region this fall. A major exhibit will be at the Historic Society of Cheshire County, a ‘then and now’ style display of Field’s photography paired with historic photographs from the Manchester Historic Association and a timeline of NH’s immigration history over the last 200 years. The Historical Society will showcase many of its own artifacts and archival collections related to Cheshire County’s immigrant community including French-Canadian, Greek, Italian, and Finnish populations.
A second exhibit at the Mason Library, Keene State College, will include both her photos and text of stories from immigrants in their own words about their journeys to find a new home. Field’s photos will also be on display at several smaller venues in the region including Prime Roast Coffee, Harrisville General Store, The Hannah Grimes Center, and Keene International Market. A full list of exhibits and presentations are available at www.hsccnh.org . All exhibits are free and open to the public.
This celebration of diversity coincides with the Keene International Festival, a free family event with music, dance, games, crafts, food vendors, a global market, and a Bollywood flash mob. Becky Field will be on hand at the festival with copies of her books. The festival is set to occur on Saturday, September 24th from 11am-3pm at Fuller Park/Keene Recreation Center, 312 Washington Street, Keene, NH.
September is Welcoming Week, September 9-18, a national and statewide recognition of the contributions of people of all backgrounds to our communities and economy. Other events in New Hampshire during Welcoming Week can be found at https://welcomingnh.org/.
The exhibits in Keene are funded in part by a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Thomas W. Haas Fund. Support was also received from the Putnam Foundation, C&S Wholesale Grocers, and Covenant Living of Keene, NH.