Immigrants now comprise approximately 13 percent of the total U.S. population (41.3 million), of which over a fourth are undocumented (11.4 million) and close to a fifth live in poverty. Despite numerous roadblocks, many in the United States have called for an overhaul of the immigration system, seeing it as a necessary and crucial step in the development of a more humane and just American society. Yet many others still fail to acknowledge immigrant hardships or to empathize with their conditions, prompting individuals, such as community activists and artists like those in Acting on Dreams, to attempt to fill the enormous gaps in immigration services and knowledge.
With a recent surge in border crossings on the one hand, and stalled legislation in Congress and increased deportations on the other—the work of community and grassroots groups to raise awareness and ease immigrant living conditions has become more essential. The works included in this exhibition chronicle several efforts of immigrants and their advocates, while drawing connections between various communities and concerns within this highly complex issue. The artists apply their creative skills to further compassionate and respectful policies, and strive to communicate the immigrant experience in the United States—the frequent sense of isolation and uncertainty, but also courageousness, pride, and anticipation.
The projects presented in Acting On Dreams include installation, sculpture, and video. Together, these artists present informed perspectives on U.S. immigration today via strategies such as research, storytelling and activism. Acting on Dreams explores the work of artists who use creative, often process-oriented, strategies and community collaborations to advocate for authorized and undocumented immigrants and propose innovative alternatives to immigration reform.
Exhibiting artists are: Andrea Bowers, CultureStrike & JustSeeds, Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani, Ghana ThinkTank, Marisa Morán Jahn (Studio REV-) in collaboration with National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations, Jenny Polak, QUEEROCRACY in collaboration with Carlos Motta, and Favianna Rodriguez.
The gallery, located on 41 Franklin Street in Stamford is closed Monday and Tuesday and is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: noon – 5:00PM Thursdays: noon – 7:00PM.