Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Arts Program Wins Grant for Refugee Storytelling

South Central PaARTners at Millersville University was recently awarded a $5,000 grant for an artist-in-residency program.

South Central PaARTners at Millersville University was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Walters Foundation to facilitate an artist in residency program at the Refugee Center and Community School at Reynolds Middle School.

Called “Butterfly Tales: Transforming through Story,” this 10 day-long program will feature artist Jenny Hill, a skilled arts educator who has worked extensively with senior citizens and children. She uses storytelling in her residencies to tease out personal and shared histories, and to use these stories to build community and connection for her students. She will be joined by Anita Pilkerton-Plumb, a social worker who has spent the past two years providing counseling services for the refugee families at Lancaster’s Refugee Center and Community School.

Together, they will develop a curriculum that will help participants better cope with the social isolation, depression, anxiety and trauma they have experienced since moving here. The program will pair seniors with their grandchildren and use stories, writing exercises, games, cooking projects and walking expeditions through the city to foster rich interactions between generations (and among all participants.) Younger participants will learn about their grandparent’s lives, traditions, foods and their own cultural heritage while forging friendship and common ground with the other children involved. Translators and interpreters will be available during each session to assist in clear communication between participants and facilitators.

The Walters/Unitarian Universalist Church Trust is an endowment from Arthur and Selma Walters to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster in support of events that affirm the worth and dignity of all humans and that strive to increase the awareness of and respect for our environment.


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