During the months of May and June, the Library is hosting a very talented Massachusetts photographer named Mark Chester. Mr. Chester has captured a “mini United Nations” within the state through images of immigrants. He has been photographing immigrants for years, making it his mission to take pictures of two people from every nation in the world. He is well on his way to completing his goal because since 2011, Mark has photographed people from 185 of the world’s 196 countries, all of them immigrants who have settled in Massachusetts. All of his subjects have become naturalized citizens and portions of his selections of more than 350 photos have been exhibited around the state, most recently at the State House. He is now putting them into a book which he plans to distribute free to schools and libraries. The project – called “The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape: Photographs of New Americans” – has taken on new meaning in 2017. The purpose of his exhibits are to enlighten, to educate, and to make people aware of residents from different countries. His work offers a glimpse into the lives of immigrants who have embraced their new country, but have still retained some of the culture of their homelands. Mr. Chester – who lives on Cape Cod – attends naturalization ceremonies and has even been known to ask cab drivers where they’re from. One of the project’s sponsors is the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition as Mark’s work helps capture the sense of optimism many immigrants have after they settle here. For more information on the MIRA Coalition’s future projects with Mr. Chester, go to http://bit.ly/BayStatebook. For more information, go to http://www.markchesterphotography.com. We encourage you to visit the library while the display is in place as it is so culturally enriching and inspiring to see. Please note that the “Mark Chester Cultural Diversity Project” is a recipient of a Milton Cultural Council grant (Spring 2016). Also there will be a free and open reception for this exhibit on Thursday, June 8th from 6-8 PM in the Gallery.
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