Vermont's Mexican migrants focus of program

MIDDLEBURY - The Vermont Folklife Center's Community Exhibitions Program presents two bodies of work that focus on the experience of Mexican migrant workers in Addison County-one created by students at the Lincoln Community School and the other by Mexican migrant workers themselves. This work will be on display through April 23 at the center's Vision and Voice Documentary Workspace in Middlebury.

Over the winter months fifth and sixth graders at Lincoln Community School examined the situation of Vermont dairy farmers and the Mexican farm workers who labor on their farms. Three projects emerged from the course of study that are featured in this exhibit:

Inspired by quotes from "The Golden Cage" exhibit, students created poetry, prose, and artwork based on these narratives. They then paired digitized art and text with music to create digital stories, which they also narrated.

The work by Lincoln students will be paired with the Invisible Odysseys project, which presents three-dimensional autobiographical dioramas created by Mexican workers on Vermont farms.

Conceived by artist and writer B. Amore and implemented in partnership with geographer Susannah McCandless and independent scholar Ethan Mitchell, Invisible Odysseys brought paints, wooden boxes, and mixed media materials to Mexican workers so that they could engage in making three-dimensional representations of their personal journeys. Through participation in the project farm workers have told their own stories, in their own words, and through their own individual artistic expression.

The Vision and Voice Documentary Workspace is a program of the Vermont Folklife Center, which is located at 88 Main St. in Middlebury.

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