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Immigrant Coalition celebrates art | Guest Opinion

We had so much fun last year that we had to do it again.

The Tri-Cities Immigrant Coalition (TCIC) would like to invite you to join us for another “Celebrating Our Immigrant Community through the Arts” exhibit. As with last October’s event, artwork will be on display at Monarcha Winery, which is located at 421 Columbia Drive, in the Columbia Gardens Wine and Artisan Village in Kennewick.

On the opening night of the exhibit, Saturday, Sept. 7, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, you can view the art for free while enjoying conversations with the artists. In addition, Martin Porras will sing and play his guitar, and Brandon Sullivan will read a poem he wrote for the event.

Monarcha will be selling wine by the glass, and non-alcoholic beverages and food can be purchased from El Taco Stop, which will serve Mexican favorites, and Fast and Curryous, which will feature some halal and vegan options among its delicious Indian selections.

TCIC has received entries from artists who exhibited their works last October and from others who want to participate for the first time. We think you’ll be impressed that there are so many gifted artists living here in the Tri-Cities who come from all over the world.

Besides exhibiting art by immigrants, TCIC will display environmental portraits of Tri-Cities’ immigrants by local photographer and graphic designer Madison Rosenbaum. An environmental portrait includes a person’s home, surroundings, or meaningful background. Madison is especially talented at taking an environmental portrait that tells someone’s story. Come to Monarcha to see who’s in Madison’s portraits this year.

Last year Madison took a portrait of Anh Mai-Windle, an American citizen from Vietnam who lives in Richland. Anh and her family emigrated as refugees at the end of the Vietnam War. She writes, “With only the clothes on our backs and each other, we left Vietnam amidst bombing raids and tense moments with no plans but the hope of freedom and opportunity. We built a life in the U.S. based on hard work, integrity, and love of and service to God, family, country, and community. The circumstances of our immigration and appreciation and respect for, and recognition of, the sacrifices and compassion and support from good people have always lent perspective. They have inspired me to help others, serve the public interest, and live the best life possible.”

Woven into the fabric of Anh’s story is a theme common to immigrant stories: gratitude to America. Most immigrants are very thankful for the opportunities provided by the United States.

TCIC knows that you will be inspired by the stories of the people you meet at “Celebrating Our Immigrant Community through the Arts.”

If you are inspired by any art you see at this year’s exhibit, please consider buying it. Due to the gracious contributions of our sponsors, we don’t charge the artists whose works are in the exhibit, so you know that 100 percent of what you pay goes directly to the artist.

The art will hang through Sunday, Sept. 15 at Monarcha Winery, so if you’re already busy on September 7, you’ll still have an opportunity to enjoy the artistic talents of our immigrant community members.

If you’re free Sept. 7, please come meet some lovely people like Anh and join in the fun.

TCIC would like to thank Monarcha Winery and its employees for all their help with this event. If you have any questions, please contact us at tricitiesimmigrantcoalition@gmail.com.

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