DENMARK, Maine — The Denmark Arts Center will be presenting the Portland-based Palaver Strings on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. for "Welcome Home," a program which celebrates the vitality of Maine’s immigrant communities through music and storytelling.
In partnership with the Immigrant Welcome Center of Greater Portland, this program will be performed in seven Maine locations, with the goal of exposing rural Maine communities to the experiences of new immigrant families, celebrating Maine’s cultural diversity, and encouraging audiences to reflect on their own heritage and how to make Maine a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.
"Welcome Home" includes three segments, each centered around a significant immigrant and/or diaspora community in Maine: French-Canadian, Iraqi and Burundian and Rwandan.
Each segment features storytelling and musical performances by guest artists from these communities, including original songs and music with cultural significance.
Guest artists include Iraqi speaker and poet Kifah Abdallah, Iraqi oud player Jawad Nageeb, Burundian singer Maisha Mustafa and French-Canadian trad musicians, Alex Wilder and Jaige Trudell.
“As we tour with this program around Maine, we will celebrate Maine’s cultural diversity, reflect on our own histories, and create space for dialogue between performers and listeners from different backgrounds,” said Maya French, Palaver’s managing director and co-artistic director. “We believe deep listening and empathy for unfamiliar experiences is an important part of making Maine a safe and inclusive home for everyone.”
Palaver Strings is a 13 person, musician-led string orchestra and nonprofit whose mission is rooted in community and creative programming. Through innovative performance, educational workshops, and community engagement initiatives, Palaver reaches diverse audiences throughout New England and beyond.
Recent projects include a concert at the Kennedy Center and songwriting workshops for new mothers and LGBTQ seniors. With the support of local partner organizations, Palaver has recently launched the Palaver Music Center (PMC), a community music school in Portland.
The Denmark Arts Center is located at 50 W. Main St. (Route 160).
To purchase tickets or find more information, go to denmarkarts.org/event or call the Denmark Arts Center box office at (207) 452-2412.