'Hmong American Voices' opens in Aurora Feb. 2

Join the Aurora Public Library and the Pick Museum of Anthropology to explore "Storytelling: Hmong American Voices" through the month of February.

Originally developed with the Northern Illinois University museum and a Hmong Community Advisory Council in 2016, this enhanced exhibition now includes more stories from Hmong Americans in Aurora and throughout the northern Illinois region.

An opening reception featuring refreshments and a performance by the First Hmong Alliance Church Choir will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, in the John C. Dunham Atrium of the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora, 101 S. River St., Aurora. Church members plan to wear traditional Hmong clothing. The program will begin at 5:40 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.

Through objects and personal stories, this exhibit immerses visitors in the Hmong history and culture and explores what it means to be Hmong American. Visitors will be able to view traditional clothing, Hmong textiles, and silverwork jewelry, and learn about concepts of home, spirituality and memory. How has Hmong life changed since refugees first entered the United States in the 1970s? What does it mean to be Hmong American today?

"Storytelling" is on display Feb. 2-25 and is supported by The Dunham Fund, Northern Illinois University, the Aurora Public Library and CEP Exhibit Productions Inc.

Other upcoming programs include a story time, art lesson and art exhibit opening.

• "Hmong Story Cloth Story Time" will be offered from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, in the Dunham Atrium of the Santori Branch. It is appropriate for young children.

• A "Hmong Applique Art Lesson" will be offered from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, in the Dunham Atrium of the Santori Branch. The program is appropriate for elementary age kids to adults. Parents and children can work together.

• An opening reception for "In/Visibility: Hmong America and the Art of Storytelling" will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, March 2, at Waubonsee Community College's Aurora Downtown Campus, 8 S. River St. It will feature first-person reflections, Hmong textiles, and artwork by Aurora native and Waubonsee Community College alumna J. Tshab Her. This exhibit explores Hmong American identity, the politics of displacement and what it means to belong.

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