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Where We're From

Where We’re From

December 1 to February 15, 2010

Opening reception on Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 2 pm

Hilltop Mall

Near JC Penney’s entrance

 The exhibition is free, wheelchair accessible, and on view when Hilltop Mall is open. 

INFO:  510-486-2340 or community_works@yahoo.com


The Where We’re From exhibit, on display at the Hilltop Mall in Richmond from December 1 to February 15, is an exhibit of student poetry and photographic portraits. The exhibit is the culmination of two semester-long projects at Richmond High School and Kappa High School, conducted by writer Summer Brenner and photographer Ruth Morgan, sponsored by Community Works, and underwritten with grants from Lesher Foundation, The Christensen Fund, and Target.


Personal stories enliven our sense of time and place – and make them our own. We come from somewhere. We belong to someone. Even when our past is lost or abandoned, it follows us. What value do our own personal stories hold for others? Can "where we're from" illuminate "where we're going?"


The Where We’re From inter-generational oral history and poetry project set out to find answers to such questions. Over the past two years, groups of high-school students in Richmond, California met to discuss migration and genealogy; practice interview techniques; design an interview questionnaire; and conduct interviews that formed the basis for poems about themselves as well as family and community members.


With family members, they gleaned new information and unexpected advice. From community members, they recognized decisive crossroads similar to their own. The interviewees were also grateful for the opportunity to express themselves. As Ruby Jean Fox told her great-granddaughter: "Nobody ever asks you to sit down and tell them about your life, and by the time they think of it, it's too late."


The Where We’re From project was previously exhibited at the Richmond Museum of History in spring 2008 and at the Addison Street Window Gallery in Berkeley in spring 2009, sponsored by the City of Berkeley.


Community Works engages youth and adults in arts and education programs that interrupt and heal the far-reaching impact of incarceration and violence by strengthening individuals, families and communities.


For Details, Contact:

Ellie Erickson, community_works@yahoo.com

Community Works, www.community-works-ca.org