2018 - 2015 Award Recipients

In the New Haven Register:

$60K in grants awarded to immigrant and refugee programming


 Published 3:32 pm EDT, Thursday, September 27, 2018


For Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) the grant will help to develop and expand its Public Education about Refugees (PEAR) program.  Under this program, Refugee Ambassadors and immigrants will be trained to tell their stories in a public forum.  They will then speak in schools, colleges, libraries, churches and other settings to help increase understanding of issues related to refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers and foster appreciation of the richness of the cultures these individuals bring to the United States.

The grant will enable Long Wharf Theatre to continue and expand its Newcomer Play Project.  This project provides training and a public platform for recent immigrants and refugees to use speech and drama to convey their personal experiences in their countries of origin and in their new homes in this country. The project will culminate in performances at the Long Wharf Theatre on a weekend in June of 2020 which will be open to the public. 

For the Institute Library the grant will help support an exhibition titled “Melted Pots and Cooked Books.”  An open call will invite applicants from diverse backgrounds to submit favorite cookbooks, recipes, artworks, and utensils that engage with this theme.  In addition to the exhibition, the project will include recipe readings, story sharing events, and cooking and tasting workshops, as well as the compilation of a cookbook at the end of the project.

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will use the grant to present a free concert on the New Haven Green, as part of the Festival of Arts and Ideas.  The concert will feature the 3-time Grammy-nominated Afro-Caribbean music group Tiempo Libre and New Haven's own St. Luke's String Band.  The concert will also introduce the orchestra's new Music Director, Maestro Alasdair Neale. 


 Award Recipients for 2017: 

     Music Haven received a grant of $20,000 to expand their program of providing young people in New Haven with tuition-free music education, mentoring, and performance opportunities.  This particular project will bring violin lessons and instruments to refugee children and their families alongside other Music Haven families.  Gatherings for concerts will provide opportunities for cross-cultural community building through music. 

      A grant of $20,000 was awarded to CitySeed to support refugees and immigrants in income-generating culinary pursuits that celebrate and share their food heritage, traditions and stories with the New Haven community.  The project will include suppers at CitySeed open to the public and a CitySeed Farmer’s Market Incubator, where participants can develop products to be sold in the community.

       The Connecticut Players Foundation (Long Wharf Theatre) received a grant of $20,000 for a Newcomer Play Project.  The project will provide immigrants and refugees with a chance to attend the theatre’s six productions as well as pre- and post-show workshops with a teaching artist.  At the end of the season, participants’ narratives about the plays and their own experiences will be woven into a text, culminating in a public performance of their writings at Long Wharf.

       Two organizations were given smaller grants to support their work:  Elm City Internationals uses soccer to engage young immigrants and refugees in academics and to prepare them for success in college.  The grant will help the students share their stories with the Greater New Haven Community.


       The New Haven Land Trust supports fifty diverse community gardens.  The grant will help as they develop cross-cultural programs and conduct outreach to the community at large.


Award Recipients for 2016:

Collective Consciousness Theatre was awarded $20,000 to support an original theatre production "Stories of a New America."  The play will include real stories of refugee families from Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, The Congo and other countries of conflict around the world.  The play and an interactive workshop will tour schools and communities across Connecticut to educate people about immigration and refugee resettlement. 

The International Festival of Arts and Ideas was awarded $20,000 to research and develop the first comprehensive “International Daily Music Listening Program” and to pilot the program in two K-6 New Haven public schools in May of 2017.  The Festival creation will have an international focus and will reflect New Haven's diverse community and our global society.   The long-range goal is to create a three-year program that would explore various countries and artists, be aligned with Connecticut’s arts curriculum and standards, and provide a valuable resource to our schools. 

IRIS (Integrated and Refugee and Immigrant Services) was awarded $20,000 to continue and enhance its PEAR (Public Education about Refugees) program.  Through PEAR, IRIS has been able to involve refugees in presentations and discussions in schools throughout greater New Haven.  This grant will allow IRIS to increase the number of refugee speakers and to expand and formalize programs for high school and university audiences.  PEAR's goal is to increase students' understanding of what refugees face as they flee persecution, linger in refugee camps, and resettle in the US. 

Award Recipients for 2015: 

The Connecticut Children's Museum in New Haven was awarded a $20,000 grant to continue their educational field trip series for young children from under-resourced neighborhoods. Their Houses and Homes Around the World program will include a multicultural children's book, a journey in pictures to the homes of children around the world, and a hands-on activity building a house from another land.

A grant of $20,000 was awarded to P.L.A.C.E., Partnerships in Learning and Creative Exploration, Inc. in Hamden. P.L.A.C.E. will use their mobile art and film studio to develop and implement a film-making program that promotes young people's exploration and deeper understanding of diversity and multiculturalism in their community. The program will be piloted at the International Academy at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven.

We are pleased to present a video co-production between P.L.A.C.E. Children's Museum in Hamden, the International Academy at Wilbur Cross high school, and IRIS, funded with grant money from the IANH.

Please click here to view REFUGEE.

Three agencies in West Haven - the Public Libary, the Community House, and the Child Development Center - will share a grant of $20,000 and will work together to establish a partnership to foster community awareness of the needs of immigrant children and families and to assist the families to acclimate in the community.  The West Haven Public Libary will host an international film festival and purchase adult and childre's books in many languages.  The West Haven Community House will focus on the cuisine,the clothing, and the music and dance that are amont the traditions of the various groups in their expanding community.  And the West Haven Child Development Center will bring groups in the community together for a large event involving flying individually decorated carousel horse kites. 

IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven) will continue using funds from the $20,000 grant they received in 2014 to further implement their Public Education About Refugees (PEAR) project. To date, they invited refugee speakers to address mainly fourth grade students, in addition to some middle, high school and university students. IRIS’ goal is to create a high school curriculum for education about refugees in co-operation with high school partners for the 2015-16 school year.” 





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