Join Us for a Free Virtual Discussion About New Public Art Installation from Craft Lake City & The International Rescue Committee

Join Craft Lake City and the International Rescue Committee for a free virtual discussion on Tues., January 17, 2023 at noon MST to learn about Local Voices: Together We Welcome, a new installation in downtown Salt Lake City! Attendees will have the opportunity to share ideas and ask questions about the project, while learning about the featured artists as well as the International Rescue Committee’s mission. In this public online event, Craft Lake City’s Artisan & Programs Coordinator Morgana Faye will chat with Mikaela Herman and Mattie Vandel from the IRC as well as two special guest artists from the New American community, Rispah Otieno from Kenya & Raida Jarjes from Iraq, to discuss the new installation.

Local Voices: Together We Welcome aims to honor and highlight global cultures that have arrived in Utah with those who now call the state “home,” and invites you to learn more about our newest neighbors and listen to their stories. In the case of this installation, in-person visitors to the public art will be able to literally listen to those featured tell their stories, thanks to an interactive element. Viewers will be able to scan a QR code and hear audio of the featured person telling their story, working or playing instruments.

Register to attend the virtual discussion by clicking the button below!

About the Guests

Rispah Otieno
Artisan & Owner of ZZOLARI

Rispah Otieno was born and raised in Kenya and has always had a passion for Jewelry making learned through her mother. I hope that through ZZOLARI lives will be changed, communities will be empowered and poverty will be eradicated. When you support ZZOLARI, you’re helping create employment and supporting local artisans in Kenya.

Raida Jarjes
Artisan & Poet

I am a writer and artist from Iraq. 15 years ago, America became my home, and I was able to adapt to the place and society, and to live my life here, and my heart still beats. I write poetry and practice arts. I run a humanitarian and cultural organization based in Utah. I work to take care of human beings, both of my culture and my existence. On this day, I am almost alone in the art of wood burning, but I practice it on the cork and choose topics related to our heritage, the aim of which is to introduce others to our Arab civilization and heritage. I have been working with this art since I was 12 years old.

Mikaela Herman
IRC Communication Specialist

Mikaela Herman is the Communication Specialist at the International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City. Since moving to Utah in 2021, Mikaela has worked to increase storytelling of refugees and new Americans in the beehive state. Her areas of focus in communication include ethical storytelling, profile pieces, short stories, photography and design. Her hope is that through effective communication, we can find a genuine connection across cultures and backgrounds.

Mattie Vandel
IRC Small Business Counselor

Mattie Vandel is a Small Business Counselor on the Economic Wellbeing team at IRC SLC. She works with a diverse range of refugee & minority business owners, but focuses primarily on artists and makers. Mattie supports entrepreneurs through offering marketing assistance, helping them navigate business finances, and connecting them with local avenues to sell their products, such as coffee shops and art shows. She enjoys learning about expressions of culture through her clients and watching their businesses grow.

Local Voices: Together We Welcome is installed adjacent to the sidewalks in downtown Salt Lake City, and are located on the North and South sides of Broadway (300 South) between 200 West and 200 East. The installation is open to the public 24 hours a day 7 days a week from January – February 2023, and is free of charge.

About the IRC:

The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of people, forced to flee violence and persecution, are welcomed by the people of the United States into the safety and freedom of America. These individuals have survived against incredible odds. The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors, and local volunteers to help them translate their past experiences into assets that are valuable to their new communities. In Salt Lake City and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives. Since opening its doors in 1994, the IRC in Salt Lake City has resettled nearly 12,000 refugees and provided life-changing services to thousands more in the Beehive State. Services include resettlement, education, health, advocacy, economic well being, and more. @rescueorg @ircsaltlakecity

About Craft Lake City:

Founded in 2009 by Angela H. Brown, Executive Editor of SLUG (Salt Lake UnderGround) Magazine, Craft Lake City® is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the mission to educate, promote and inspire local artisans while elevating the creative culture of the Utah arts community through science, technology and art. Craft Lake City strives to further define the term “Craft,” by modernizing the definition for handmade creativity. @craftlakecity

Craft Lake City’s year-round programming is supported in part by the residents of Salt Lake County through the Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) Program, the Salt Lake Arts Council, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, and Utah Arts & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Temporary Museum of Permanent Change:

The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change is a community based, participatory project that uses the ever-changing development processes underway in Salt Lake City as catalysts to animate city life. The Museum engages a variety of audiences using a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach that includes performance art and video production, visual art, urban archaeology, anthropology, local history, existing businesses and ongoing deconstruction and construction processes as spectacles for people of all ages. Together these elements provide teachable moments in our efforts to manage and celebrate change. This museum has no specific address. Rather it is a construction of ideas, installations and illuminations that comprise a new way of seeing our city.


About the Center for Living City:

The Center for the Living City’s purpose is to expand the understanding of the complexity of contemporary urban life and through it, promote increased civic engagement among people who care deeply for their communities. The Center provides portals for community engagement through the lens of urban ecology to further the understanding of the interconnected human and ecological systems in our communities. The Center’s multi-disciplinary approach to community engagement is applied through educational programs, collaborative projects, fellowships, on-line portals, workshops and publications.  @centerforthelivingcity