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Dayton Metro Library kicks off second annual New Americans Art Exhibit

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Alejandro Figueroa
/
WYSO

The Dayton Metro Library will host its second annual New Americans Art Exhibit in partnership with Welcome Dayton, a city initiative. The exhibit will feature art from community members from all around the world. 

The New Americans Art Exhibit will feature pieces by artists from Venezuela, Iran, India and many other immigrants who now call Dayton home.

The exhibit itself is organized by Welcome Dayton, a city program established in 2011 that seeks to connect new immigrants in Dayton to resources and build up communities in Dayton.

Jeannette Hortwitz, a coordinator with Welcome Dayton, said the city program's goal is to help new immigrants establish themselves in the city. But it's also about appreciating the different cultures that make up Dayton.

“It's sort of a universal way to connect. We don't have to speak. We can just look at it together,” Horwitz said. “I might stand next to someone who doesn't speak English, but we can still look at the same piece of artwork and enjoy it and connect with each other that way.”

Between 2014 and 2019 the Montgomery County population decreased by 0.5% while the immigrant population grew by 21%, according to a New American Economy Research Fund report.

Rachel Gut, the deputy executive director at the library said the library's job is, in part, to help connect people with resources as communities grow.

She added the library also seeks to give new American artists a place to show their and be a source of support as new immigrants get settled in the community.

“Libraries are a repository of those kinds of things. And this particular exhibit gives people an opportunity to create and express themselves in different ways, but also to appreciate other people's expression.” Gut said.

There'll be a reception on Saturday where visitors can talk with the artists from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m..

The exhibition will run through the end of the year at the main library branch.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Alejandro particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming