Museums and Organizations in Chicago Cultural Alliance Lead Discussions on Immigration and Eldercare

May 24 2012

The Center for Civic Reflection has been working with the Chicago Cultural Alliance and its core members on a discussion series called "Talking About..." The series brings Chicago's diverse communities together to talk about issues of public concern and helps museums to become centers for civic engagement.

Two of the most successful "Talking About..." events occurred in Spring 2011. In late March, the Arab American Action Network and the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture paired a comparative presentation with a short civic reflection discussion to get participants thinking about how their communities have experienced waves of immigration and migration in Chicago. In mid-April, at the event, "Aging in Our Communities," leaders from the Balzekas Museum and the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society hosted a dialogue with participants from their communities to explore the emotional and physical needs of the elderly. Participants read a short excerpt from Chitra B. Divakaruni's short story ,"Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter," to reflect on the conditions of eldercare in their communities, the changes they would like to see, and how museums as community centers could facilitate those changes.

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