On Friday, January 20th, 2023 the Fairfield Lane Library hosted their Gala Reception for the weekend photo exhibit program “Nuestra Presencia: A Visual Latinx Experience”. The program was a continuation of the branch’s efforts to better serve and engage with the Latin-American community, led by Odalis Jiménez, April Huerta and Valerie Simmons. The evening started with an acoustic concert by the Salvadoran rock band “Daglio”. As guests were welcomed, they were able to enjoy assorted pastries provided by a local Hispanic bakery, Mimi’s Lil Kitchen, as well as traditional Latin-American beverages prepared by Odalis and April. Keynote speaker for the evening was local professional photographer, educator and activist Ligia Cuevas Johnson. Ligia presented her photo exhibit “Vulnerable Dreamers”, a black and white photo exhibit consisting of 19 mounted photographs of Latin-American Immigrant children and their stories of joy, wonder and hope, told from a first-person perspective. The exhibit, which belongs to the Miami University in Oxford, OH, came to the Library as part of a partnership with their Office of Global Initiatives and their Center for American and World Cultures. A second exhibit shown was the award-winning documentary film The Latinx Photography Project. This film documents the journey of a group of immigrants in Point Reyes, California, from different backgrounds, who came together through the art of photography to immortalize their experiences and their culture. The film’s producer, Alejandro Palacios, joined the audience via Zoom meeting from California, to talk about the creative process and a Q & A session after the viewing. Registration for this event was maxed out, and those in attendance were able, once the event concluded, to explore the gallery, as well as engage in meaningful conversations with guests. The Gallery also had open access hours throughout the weekend for the community to enjoy.
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