May 27, 2010

 Navigation

   Home Page

 News & Features

   News

 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note

   Boomers

   Pinings

   Longshots

   Techie

 Pop Culture

   Film

   TV

   Books
   Video Games
   CD Reviews

 Living

   Food

   Wine

   Beer
   Grazing Guide

 Music

   Articles

   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts

   Bandmates

 Arts

   Theater

   Art

 Find A Hippo

   Manchester

   Nashua

 Classifieds

   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad

 Advertising

   Advertising

   Rates

 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover


Needs no translation
B.R.I.N.G. I.T. invites refugees to talk through art
By Adam Coughlin acoughlin@hippopress.com

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, which can be true, especially when those words are spoken in 25 different languages. That is why the community organization B.R.I.N.G. I.T. (Bringing Refugees, Immigrants, and Neighbors Gently Into Tomorrow) is using art to reach out to students from across the world who are now calling Manchester home.

In March 2005, noticing the large influx of Somalian refugees, Family Understanding Nights (F.U.N.) were started. These nights, which happen about once a month, allow refugees, people forced from their native land because of unstable conditions, to listen to speakers, ask questions and become aware of services that are available.

Turnout became so high, according to Jodi Harper, B.R.I.N.G. I.T. program director, that this year they began to divide the evenings into communities.

“We work with the community leaders to find out what is going on,” said Harper. “Each community has different needs. The Bhutanese refugees, for example, have high levels of English so they don’t need help on writing a check. But they want to learn about the American policing system and what to do if they get a traffic ticket.”

While the parents have opportunities to learn the intricacies of their adopted homeland, students at school also needed some encouragement. That is why Beech Street School Assistant Principal Brendan McCafferty, the Manchester School District and the Manchester Boys & Girls Club began B.R.I.N.G. I.T. about three and a half years ago.

The afterschool program, which is held Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Beech Street School, brings kids together to play soccer and take dance classes. While the kids bond, the parents take English classes. This program is open to all students, and those who attend speak more than 25 languages and dialects.

These activities, dance and soccer, have no need for translation, which got those involved thinking about other transcendent activities. Naturally, they came to art.

Thus began this year’s pilot program, a collaboration with the NH Institute of Art and the Currier Museum of Art. Thirty-five kids, primarily from the West Side, spent 15 weeks working on art projects, which are now on display at both art facilities.

“We are always looking at ways to expand the program and reach as many kids as possible,” Harper said. “We know not every kid is going to like soccer or dancing, and so art is another avenue.”

Suzanna Canali, chairperson for art education at the art institute, said she taught the first class. She gave the students an emotion and asked them to draw it. But for happy, they couldn’t just draw a smiley face. They had to try to visually represent the words.

“One of the words was ‘masculinity,’” Canali said. “It was great to see the differences and similarities between the drawings of a Manchester native and a Nepalese boy. It allowed us to have a conversation.”

“With art, the students were revealing so much more than they would have if they were just using words,” Canali continued. “They didn’t even realize how sophisticated their art was. We want to continue working together. There’s not a lot of places you can be exposed to such a diverse group. We teach the kids but they also teach us.”
The students spent half their time doing fiber arts at the Currier, taught by Cheryl Holbert, the Currier’s community outreach coordinator, and the other half learning fundamentals at the Art Institute. Those classes were taught by students at the institute who got practice working with kids with remedial English levels. The work that was created will be on exhibit until June 14.

Participants come from different countries and different life experiences; B.R.I.N.G. I.T. puts all these kids in the same room.

“They become friends with kids they normally would not talk to,” Harper said.

Most of the refugees, forced from their native lands because of circumstances beyond their control, do not choose New Hampshire (500-800 new refugees come to the state each year) but are brought here by resettlement agencies. Do these families consider themselves Americans or are they biding their time until their homelands settle? According to Harper, it truly depends on the family.

“Some encourage their kids to acclimate as much as possible,” Harper said. “While others don’t want to lose their identity. For many, they have two homes.”

“Some refugees or immigrants might not think of coming to the museum,” said Karen Tebbenhoff, director of marketing and public relations for the Currier. “But there are no barriers here. Art speaks to everyone, regardless of their language.”


Katie Poor taught students about the effects of lighting on portraits. Courtesy photo.

5/20/2010 Artist meet writer
5/13/2010 Art by the people, for the people
5/5/2010 Sing Out will wait: NEA likes NH arts
4/29/2010 A little peace in the Gate City
4/22/2010 Artist laureate
4/15/2010 Art at school and more new exhibits
4/8/2010 Art under glass
4/1/2010 For Jon Brooks
3/25/2010 Three "Trolley" nights for 2010
3/18/2010 Emerging art
3/11/2010 New England focus
3/4/2010 Currier celebrates 80 years
2/25/2010 Cell phone guides, fruit and poetry
2/18/2010 Contemporary concepts
2/11/2010 Intown has new downtown designs
2/4/2010 In transition
1/28/2010 Academic
1/21/2010 SOPHA plans photo sale to help Haiti
1/14/2010 More than the title implies
1/7/2010 Last chance to see Weston photos and prints from the Stahls
12/31/2009 Art goes outside and other stories this year
12/24/2009 Last chance to see Weston photos and prints from the Stahls
12/17/2009 For the arts lover
12/10/2009 Photography around the region
12/3/2009 All the craft/art fairs, ever
11/26/2009 Nashuan starts new venture for art for a cause
11/19/2009 News for artistsand art appreciators
11/12/2009 Saint Anselm College brings art, poetryand music together
11/05/2009 Photographic stand-off
10/29/2009 Manchester by Google
10/22/2009 A bull and 'Dia de los Muertos'
10/15/2009 Pumpkins, pets and architects
10/8/2009 New photography show at Currier
10/1/2009 Andres sculptors wrap up
9/24/2009 Two-day tour
9/17/2009 Workshops, recovery, pumpkins and more
9/10/2009 Meet the masters
9/3/2009 Green living
8/27/2009 MAA is early
8/20/2009 Maa Art in the Park show link with People Fest
8/13/2009 Greeley tradition
8/6/2009 Taming the painting
7/30/2009 Make your mark in Goffstown
7/23/2009 Kimball-Jenkins update
7/16/2009 Local color
7/9/2009 Currier offers free admission and wood-turning demos
7/2/2009 Not a drop to drink
6/25/2009 The SOPHA Community
6/18/2009 Manchester and Concord host gallery nights June 25
6/11/2009 Art out in the open
6/4/2009 Keeping jobs
5/28/2009 Monastary and Concord Arts Market return
5/21/2009 Her own path
5/14/2009 Nine public artworks for Nashua?
5/7/2009 Indoor and outdoor Mother's Day ideas
4/30/2009 SOPHA members show off to help Food Bank
4/23/2009 Visit the Currier for free during school vacation
4/16/2009 Colleges show off around the state
4/9/2009 Artist hotline pilot program launches
4/2/2009 Cause for soldiers
3/26/2009 Can art spider link NH?
3/19/2009 Group art shows open this week
3/12/2009 Earth, animals and learning to draw
3/5/2009 Where curiosity can lead
2/26/2009 Rockin' the art degree
2/19/2009 Where the art came from
2/12/2009 Get ready for free admission at Currier
2/5/2009 Pottery served with soup
1/29/2009 Wine and desire
1/22/2009 Art for your Valentine
1/15/2009 NHAA shows off at Currier
1/8/2009 Art on the airwaves in Nashua
1/1/2009 Learn to paint or draw
12/25/2008 Arts in 2008
12/18/2008 Conserving New Hampshire art with a moose
12/11/2008 What is it?
12/4/2008 New show openings and holiday fine craft offerings
11/27/2008 New shows and new lecutures
11/20/2008 Find out about 100 artists at Salmon Falls open house11/13/2008 A Warhol film, and Dean Spiilotes at the center
11/6/2008 A wealth of gallery openings
10/30/2008 Squeaky wheel
10/23/2008 Be surrounded by art making10/16/2008 Receptions and open studios everywhere
10/9/2008 Copyright blues
10/2/2008 Andres Institute at 10 years
9/25/2008 Andy Warhol's world leaders
9/18/2008Local color
9/11/2008Local color
9/4/2008 A weekend of fests
8/28/2008 Currier ventures into pop art
8/21/2008 Expert help on a craft project
8/14/2008 Great outdoors
8/7/2008 Local color
7/31/2008 Continuing tradition and exchaning culture
7/24/2008 Drinking for animals; masters of woodcraft
7/17/2008 What's an arts market
7/10/2008 Curtain calls
7/03/2008 The Lambovich Brothers
6/26/2008 HAS: How Art Sells
6/19/2008 It's trolley tour time
6/12/2008 Helping hand
6/5/2008 Sumi-e and photography
5/29/2008 Digital to paint
5/22/2008 New Kimball-Jenkins board members
5/15/2008 Making it in New York ... or New Hampshire
5/8/2008 Public eye
5/1/2008 Art for Mother's Day
4/24/2008 New art walk planned for Manchester
4/17/2008 Awards for the state's artists
4/10/2008 New directions
4/3/2008 New exhibits: no April Art Walk
3/27/2008 Monastary Gibbons "Visions of Monadnock"
3/20/2008 Currier opens March 30 with week of free admission
3/13/2008 Looking back at baseball
3/6/2008 Painting, calligraphy and classic cars
2/28/2008 More snow delays; Dartmouth receives arts endowment
2/21/2008 Prints and animals in Concord
2/14/2008 From the Andes to New Hampshire
2/7/2008 What does your butt say
1/31/2008 Local color
1/24/2008 Local color
1/17/2008 Conversation starter
1/10/2008 Nominate your favorite arts-loving business
1/3/2008 The inner personalities of rubber finger puppets
12/27/2007 Changes in the arts in 2007
12/20/2007 Local Color
12/13/2007 Portsmouth markets Christmas spirit
12/6/2007 One more cause
11/29/2007 Three days of merriment
11/22/2007 Advocating for arts; Zimmerman season ends soon
11/15/2007 Images, past and present
11/8/2007 Back in time at a Concord mansion
11/1/2007 Governor honors artists with art
10/25/2007 Spatial Matters
10/18/2007 Perfecting a craft
10/11/2007 Handmade furniture
10/04/2007 Capturing nature on canvas and by camera
9/27/2007 Local color
9/20/2007 Nashua, in the abstract
9/13/2007 Local Color
9/6/2007 Looking at the world
8/30/2007 Art in the fresh air
8/23/2007 Berlin pride
8/16/2007 Finding money
8/9/2007 Park of arts
8/2/2007 New Hampshire treasure honored again
7/26/2007 Taking care of wood
7/19/2007 Local Color
7/12/2007 Local Color
7/5/2007 Local Color
6/28/2007 Local Color
6/21/2007 The great outdoors
6/14/2007 Play per day
6/7/2007 Goodbye, gallery
5/31/2007 Impressions
5/24/2007 Local color
5/17/2007 Stieglitz in Manchester
5/10/2007 They're artists and they vote
5/3/2007 Lowell is the canvas for a summer of art
4/26/2007 Local color
4/19/2007 Local color
4/12/2007 Local color
4/5/2007 A Saint paul student returns to show recent work
3/29/2007 Local color
3/22/2007 Compassionate cause
3/15/2007 Local color
3/8/2007 Making money
3/1/2007 Local Color
2/22/2007 Local Color
2/15/2007 Local Color
2/8/2007 Local Color
2/1/2007 DreamFarm Cafe's big show
1/25/2007 Built world
1/18/2007 Expressions of character
1/11/2007 Best practices
1/4/2007 Nominate your favorite for Governor's Arts Awards
12/28/2006 Art in 2006 in southern New Hampshire
12/21/2006 Time to learn
12/14/2006 Frisella's new studio; sell art for animals; girls only time
12/07/2006 Stained glass, found objects and ornaments
11/30/2006 No shortage of art sales
11/23/2006 A Granite State greeting
11/16/2006 Santa Claus hangs with artists
11/9/2006 Visual art meets poetry
11/2/2006 Local Color
10/26/2006 Local Color
10/19/2006 Local Color
10/12/2006 Almost 80 artists in Hollis ...
10/05/2006 Fine art in a field
09/28/2006 Local Color
09/21/2006 Local Color
09/14/2006 Local color
09/07/2006 Bel Espirit, a happening of chance
08/31/2006 An artistic endeavor
08/24/2006 The almost-all architecture edition
08/17/2006 Half century of creativity
08/10/2006 Obsession with the Isles of Shoals
08/03/2006 See the precise craft of carving with a chainsaw
07/20/2006 For museums or your living room
07/13/2006 Making their mark
07/06/2006 Sense of place
06/29/2006 New ground
06/22/2006 MAA honors scholars an artists of the year
06/15/2006 Galleries open doors
06/08/2006 It's sticky up here
06/01/2006 Mural for MCAM
05/25/2006 Scenes from the air
05/18/2006 Vanguardians sit down
05/11/2006 Public masterpiece
05/04/2006 Art helps kids at MAA show
04/27/2006 In-house artists on display
04/20/2006 No Pinocchio here
04/13/2006 School's out art's in
04/06/2006 Meet Michael Toomey
03/30/2006 Art builds community ...
03/23/2006 From Celtic design to Ayn Rand
03/16/2006 Got Cow?
03/09/2006 A creative view of China
03/02/2006 Monastery Arts open new show
02/23/2006 Love and art in one location
02/16/2006 Job loss leads to artistic success
02/09/2006 Art in the key of Adam and Eve
02/02/2006 Art to make you think
01/26/2006 New York artists to show at Derryfiled School
01/19/2006 A new age of artwork
01/12/2006 Photography buffs unite
01/05/2006 Jeweler teaches her trade
Alison Williams
All together now
A forest through the trees
A light in the dark
An event for artists, by artists
Anne Dufresne
Armand Szainer: never forget
Art group picks artist of the year
Art In The Park
Art in the Park sees attendance dip
Arts In Education Conference
Art like Crayons for grown-ups
Art you can sit on (if you own it)
Better Living Through Artistry
Capturing history with a panaramic view
Ceramic Biennial
Currier Kicks Off 2005 With NHSS Show
Die fotografieren
Doug Mendoza: Body Artist
Enjoying the Open Doors Trolley Tour
East Colony Fine Art has gone jazz
Equal Arts Opportunities
Exploring purgatory and paradise
Expressions coming from within
Fighting cancer with creativity
Free food, free music and plenty of art
Harry Umen: New Work

Head of the class
Heating up the canvas
Inside the artist’s studio
It’s art, and it’s even practical!
James Aponovich

James Chase
Jan De Bray
Local Artist, Global Message
Lollipops and Hand Grenades
MAA Adds New Dimension To Gallery
MAA Gallery Mixes It Up
Making Book With Children
Manchester Art In 2004
Morgan's "Danse" Comes To Manch
Morin Avoid Typecasting
NHIA chalks it up to May 14
Open Doors Manchester Returns
Open Doors Trolley Tour, The Winter Version
Looking for a crowd? Just add art
McGowan Fine Art Turns 25
Nita Leger Casey
Patti Matthis
Saint Anselm Favorite Returns
Searching for the extraordinary
Small Town Art Hits The Big City
Spirit Of The Holidays Exhibit
Step into the Art Pad at Langer Place
Stride and ride
Tagging goes to wall, gets legit
The art and craft of Glendi
The art of signs to art and stuff
The Art Of The Qashquai

The Return Of The Art Trolley Tour
The Ubiquitous Ann Domingue
Two-continent painting exhibit opens
Using nature as a canvas
Waxwork
Women's Art Group Marks 10th Year
Wyeth Works Return To The Currier