Karen Menéndez Coller
Centro Hispano of Dane County
Former Project Manager
Press Release and Images
Where is the exhibit going?
The Dane County tour of the exhibit took place from June 17 through November 2019, and the Statewide Tour of the exhibit took place throughout 2020. The exhibit tour was subsequently placed on hold in the latter half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, due to COVID-19 prevention measures. In partnership with the Local Voices Network (LVN), we held community-centered and socially distanced Virtual Conversations on Immigration across the whole state for the first half of 2021. To see the tour schedule, please see the Statewide Exhibit Tour page.
Why this exhibit?
At a time when the immigration of people from Mexico, Central and South America is politically divisive, this exhibit was created to add another dimension to Wisconsinites’ understanding of immigration, and to offer visitors to the exhibit a different entry point into this important public conversation. We believe that the personal stories presented in this exhibit, of people from south of the border who are living in Wisconsin today, can help Wisconsinites deepen their understanding of the complexity of immigration policy, and its impacts here in Wisconsin.
Who created it?
The traveling exhibit was created by the Wisconsin Humanities (WH) in close collaboration with Centro Hispano of Dane County, because of its extensive ties throughout the Latino community in Dane county. Journalist Bill Berry and photojournalist Gary Porter took the photographs and wrote the personal narratives for the exhibition, based on interviews that they conducted with help from Centro Hispano staff. The project website, www.WisconsinImmigrantJourneys.org, was developed by the WH under the direction of WH staff member Jessica Becker and Mirva Johnson, a PhD student funded by the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities. Technical support was provided by UW-Madison’s WiscWeb.
What is the Wisconsin Humanities?
The Wisconsin Humanities was founded in 1972 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mandate is to support and create local and statewide public humanities programs of all kinds, and to help Wisconsin residents use the tools of the humanities to thoughtfully discuss public policy issues. The WH’s matching grant program funds locally-designed humanities projects in libraries, museums, and other community institutions. The WH also periodically develops its own programs, such as the Immigrant Journeys exhibit, to address topics of statewide interest.
What is Centro Hispano of Dane County?
Founded in 1983, Centro Hispano of Dane County’s mission is Empowering Youth, Strengthening Families, Engaging the Community. Their vision for Dane County, Wisconsin is of a community where Latino families can reach their personal goals and dreams because they feel engaged and strengthened, and have the tools needed for success. Centro offers a variety of programs and services for youth and families.
Who are Bill Berry and Gary Porter?
Bill Berry is an award-winning journalist and author who lives in Stevens Point. He contributes to national and state publications, including the CapTimes. Gary Porter is a long-time photojournalist previously with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He received a Pulitzer Prize in 2011 and is a six-time Wisconsin News Photographer of the Year.
How many individuals are featured in the exhibit?
Eight individuals are featured in the exhibit. These three women and five men emigrated from Mexico, Uruguay, Honduras and Colombia.
Where will the exhibit live after the tour is completed?
We are currently planning the next phase of the project and exhibit tour. Please be in touch with questions or if you are interested in hosting.