For 30 years, KRM has had the privilege and honor to support newcomers in their journey to find and make a new home in Kentucky. During these years, over 17,000 refugees, migrants and asylum seekers have come through the doors of our agency. They bring with them lifetimes of experiences and stories, invaluable skills and cultural perspectives, and a hunger and hope to find safety and progress in their lives. Our community has been enriched by our newcomer neighbors; as those most beautiful aspects of our cultural and civic life take on new meanings and new multi-cultural expressions as they are shared, adopted and adapted. In our new neighbors we find new friends and family, and new partners and collaborators in our efforts to confront the challenges we face as we work towards a better future for us all.
The “Art Makes Home” archive* is a collection of moments that chart those journeys towards making home. Moments when new connections are forged with community members and relationships form. Moments when seeds of new lives are planted, and roots begin to grow. Moments that show movement towards new understandings, new mixings and new expressions of culture. These moments are part of a story that belongs to all of us, newcomer and locally born folks alike. Because as much as the individuals and groups who migrate here are transformed into new ways of being, so too is the community who welcomes them.
In this journey to create a new home, the arts play an especially important role. Through the act of finding personal and cultural expression through the arts, we put forth an authentic piece of ourselves and our communities into the world. This act of expression is scary. It makes us vulnerable. Yet when our genuine expressions of heart, mind and soul are sent out into the world through art, and when that art resonates with the lives of others around us, we feel connection. We feel mutual recognition and understanding. These feelings are the very substance of what it means to belong to a place. These feelings are what it means to be home.
Archives, by their very nature are tools that help us see and understand our collective past. But the perspectives which archives provide us are also powerful tools for envisioning and creating our collective future. We hope the community draws inspiration from this archive, and that the moments and movements contained in its content leads to the creation and expression of new visions of community. A community that is expansive, inclusive, and makes space for all. A community that celebrates all the blessings that have come to us, and looks with honesty and compassion towards the future we hope to build.
about the archive process
*It must be stated that no archive gives a complete story, and this archive is no different. There are so many moments and stories that are not represented in this collection. Moments unknown to us from the infinitely complicated, diverse and often perilous stories of modern migration (both willful and forced). Moments that speak to the trauma and sadness of displacement. While it is absolutely crucial that we hold these grave and somber images and stories in our minds when seeking to understand forced migration and while working to serve those who are displaced, these images and stories are common and have become widespread in popular media narratives of refugees and migrants. These moments already have widespread visibility in our current media landscape, and indeed are so common that there exists a danger of creating a monolithic over-simplified narrative of the refugee experience as one solely defined by hurt, sadness, and exile. What we have chosen to show through this archive is the other side of that story, the side of the story that shows individuals and communities that refuse to be defined by their experiences of trauma, but are instead defined by their tenacity, resilience, and dignity as they move forward, heal and create home.
The archive is a work-in-progress. If you have any content that you would like to submit for consideration, contact us at email@example.com. We are actively looking for content from the initial chapters of our story and welcome your ideas.
All content in the media archive is the property of KRM or the artistic creators.