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The Missouri Immigrant Experience Exhibit

The Missouri Immigrant Experience Exhibit


A traveling photography exhibit featuring the immigrants who have helped shape Missouri will appear Sept. 15 through Oct. 14 at the Gallery on the Mezzanine at the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St.

“The Missouri Immigrant Experience,” an exhibition curated by the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) in St. Louis, is being hosted by the Missouri State University-West Plains University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department and the West Plains Council on the Arts. Admission is free.

The exhibit, which features photographs of four Missouri-based artists, explores the lives and history of Missouri’s immigrants and refugees, showing immigrant workers who just arrived at the turn of the 20th century and highlighting modern refugee families from Asian, Bosnian and Latino populations in the Show-Me State, to reveal the depth of our communities’ immigrant roots. The photographs also depict refugee and immigrant families celebrating old and new traditions in their adopted homeland.

“We often forget just how much of a melting pot we actually are here in America. Photographs like the ones in this traveling exhibit remind us of our rich immigrant past, and they also show that Missouri is still a final destination for many immigrants and refugees today,” said Jennifer Moore, coordinator of theater and events for the U/CP Department.

A special opening reception for the exhibit from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17 also will serve as the start of this year’s Ozarks Studies Symposium hosted by Missouri State-West Plains, organizers said. “We are pleased to once again participate in this reception for the symposium and hope the exhibit will spark many discussions in line with this year’s theme, ‘The Lure of the Ozarks,’” said Paula Speraneo, president of the West Plains Council on the Arts.

The annual Ozarks Studies Symposium celebrates various aspects of Ozarks culture through presentations and performances by representatives of the academic world and the public sector. The event, in its ninth year, reflects the university’s commitment to serve as a link between the predominantly rural region it serves and the world of higher education and scholarship, facilitating communication between these two communities and fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between them.

For more information about “The Missouri Immigrant Experience” exhibit, contact the U/CP office at 417-255-7966. For more information about other U/CP-sponsored events, visit

Additional information about the West Plains Council on the Arts, who receives partial funding from Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, may be obtained by visiting For more information about MIRA and its programs, visit