“We Are Neighbors”

Join StoryHelix at the Springfield Public Library for a screening and panel discussion of the Community Alliance of Lane County and Minority Voices Theatre’s “We Are Neighbors” play, followed by community interviews! 

Saturday, January 27th

Doors Open: 10am | Showing: 11am | Panel 12pm | Interviews: 1pm

This is an in-person event.

Springfield Public Library
225 5th St.
Springfield, OR 97477

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Masks are optional. Please stay home if you’re unwell with any upper respiratory illness.

“We Are Neighbors” has been a theatrical institution in Lane County for the past 28 years.

Originally a staged reading created by the Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC), in partnership with Minority Voices Theatre, “We Are Neighbors,” is a play telling stories generously shared by immigrants who live in Lane County. These stories were woven together by playwright Nancy Hopps, in collaboration with the We Are Neighbors creative team.

This event will celebrate to the journey this play has been on, as well as discuss what is needed in our community to continue the efforts to make Lane County a place of true belonging.

The play will be introduced by Therese Picado, who has been holding this community production for over 20 years. The screening of the play will then be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A facilitated by Rituparna Roy with Guadalupe Quinn formerly of CALC, and Carol Dennis of Minority Voices Theatre, as well as Rosie Hernandez, Claudia Riumalló, and Guanghong Atman, who were creative team members whose stories are also featured in the “We Are Neighbors” play.

Springfield Museum will feature a selection of stories from their Illumination exhibits, and we will be joined by several other organizations in town that have been working towards a more belonging-filled Lane County for generations.

Add your own stories to the helix following the showing and panel! Sign up for your interview slot here to tell your story, and be included in the Rekindling Mixtape.

This project is made possible in part by generous support from the Springfield Library and Springfield Museum.

About the Play:

“We Are Neighbors” is an original play telling the true stories of courage, hopefulness and resilience of immigrants living in Lane County, Oregon.

Originally produced by Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC), in partnership with Minority Voices
Theatre (MVT), in fall 2017, the play was inspired by a piece created and performed 20 years ago, as part
of the “We Are Neighbors” project of CALC and Network for Immigrant Justice, which included the play, and a photography exhibit and quilt, all featuring Lane County immigrants.

The new play includes references from the original play but is primarily based on new interviews with
members of some of the most targeted and marginalized groups living in the Eugene-Springfield area, including Muslims, undocumented immigrants, DREAMers, and refugees, through the stories of participants who have emigrated from Palestine, Germany, Mexico, Guatemala, China, Madagascar, and Syria. These stories, generously shared, were woven together in a creative narrative by local playwright Nancy Hopps, in collaboration with a creative team. Directed by Carol Dennis, the play is produced as a staged reading by readers who are immigrants themselves or very close to the immigrant experience.

Since September 2017, the play has been produced nearly 70 times, reaching over 4,500 people and raising over $14,000 in donations for local immigrant rights work.

About Minority Voices Theatre: MVT, a program of the Very Little Theatre, offers opportunities for members of minority or marginalized communities to participate in the collaborative art of theatre as actors, writers, directors, designers, and audience members–telling the stories that are too often not told.

About Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC): CALC has been organizing for social justice for over 50 years. The rights of immigrants have been a focus since the late 1970s. Through the decades, CALC’s vision has been constant: a world where human rights are central to every institution and community, where safety, inclusion, peace, justice, and equity are the norm. Even in hard times, at CALC we are sure we can make a difference. We believe social change will be possible when people understand one another’s humanity and become passionate about challenging injustice – and that the creative arts inspire and activate us by affirming the human capacity for resilience and resistance. That is why we are proud to sponsor this play, and why we have produced four traveling photo exhibits, sponsored four social justice murals painted by youth, and brought music and poetry into rallies and events. To learn more about CALC’s programs and to explore how you might get involved, visit CALCLane.org, email info@CALCLane.org, or call 541.485.1755. To receive our weekly calendar of social justice events, sign up at tinyurl.com/CALCsignup

About StoryHelix: StoryHelix, a project of Wordcrafters in Eugene, is a collection of stories about our community that we create together.

About the Project Name: A double helix is the structure of a DNA molecule–what makes a living being who or what it is. Our DNA is shaped by our ancestors’ experiences and environments. If just one of the letters (A, T, G, C)  is removed, ignored, or changed, the entire being is altered, even becoming an entirely different creature. Communities are like this as well. 

Eugene and Springfield, and the surrounding areas have an uncomfortable history and present surrounding erasure, inclusion, and exclusion. For too long, many in our community have not been heard. StoryHelix hopes to honor our community’s letters, and their juxtapositions, and to weave a new narrative together. Tracing our EUGeneology. Intertwining stories past, present, and not yet imagined.

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