We like to highlight the good work of other non-profits and charities in and around High Point that are contributing to making the community a better place for everyone.
Senior Resources of Guilford has put together a unique art class and exhibition that promotes awareness of seniors and global refugees in Guilford County.
Paintings and sculptures by 20 local refugees from Bhutan and Vietnam will be on display at the High Point Public Library from May 6-31. The art is the results of two classes, sponsored by the Senior Resources of Guilford Refugee Program and underwritten by a grant from the High Point Arts Council, specifically for seniors from Bhutan and Vietnam.
Senior Resources of Guilford provides ongoing support services for elderly refugees from any nation. The senior centers in Greensboro and High Point host English as a Second Language classes and social gatherings that include meals, arts and crafts and recreation.
Why so many senior refugees? It’s part of global trends resulting from conflicts around the world. Guilford County has over 125 first languages and 140 countries of origin represented in the public school system. The county has long been home to a large community of Vietnamese and Montagnards. Currently there are an estimated 66,000 Bhutanese refugees in the United States, due to recent conflicts. Many have settled in Guilford County.
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, refugee is someone who:
- Is located outside of the United States
- Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
- Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
- Is not firmly resettled in another country
- Is admissible to the United States
Senior refugees are most often referred to Senior Resources of Guilford by World Relief High Point, Church World Service Greensboro and Elon Law School. Elon Law also provides assistance for seniors attaining US citizenship.
With all of the refugee programs that Senior Resource of Guilford provides, Refugee Coordinator Ana Harera spends a great deal of time hearing the stories of the county’s new citizens.
“Some of our Bhutanese participants spent 15 years living in refugee camps before immigrating here,” says Herrera.
During April, the Vietnamese seniors attended pottery classes taught by Tracy Raxter and the Bhutanese seniors studied acrylic painting with Adrienne Raxter Cox. Each class had its own interpreter to facilitate the lessons.
“The art sessions served not only as a way to express ideas and creative talents,” says Herrera, “but also as a way to show how artistic expression crosses cultural and linguistic boundaries and celebrates our common humanity.”
The refugee art exhibition in High Point is a creative and positive expression of how our community can care for its seniors and its most vulnerable new citizens.
The exhibition can be viewed Monday through Tuesday from 9 am until 8 pm, Friday and Saturday from 9 am until 6 pm and on Sunday from 1:30 pm until 6 pm. The High Point Public Library is located at 901 N Main St in High Point. For information, call (336) 883-3660.