by Mike Telin
CityMusic Cleveland will present the first three free public concerts titled Journeys of Hope on Sunday, March 2 beginning at 2:00 pm at the Lakewood Public Library. The concerts are part of CityMusic’s Roots to Branches – Music Celebrating Refugees project. This is the first in a series of four articles.
“We actually started the project because of a conversation Eugenia Strauss had with Father Bob Begin from St. Coleman’s Church,” said CityMusic Principal oboist and VP for Community Engagement Rebecca Schweigert Mayhew.
Through the help of the Refugee Services Collaborative with whom Mayhew, Strauss and CityMusic board member Sawsan Alhaddad started working with early on in the project, they discovered that every year 70,000 refugees come to the United States with over 500 settling in Cleveland, primarily from Bhutan/Nepal, Burma, Somalia, and Iraq.
Some come from once-prosperous but now war-torn countries, and many highly educated people find themselves working in unskilled jobs in a place where their credentials and experience are meaningless. [Read more…]