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Merced Arts Center looking to collect stories of immigrants

Pedestrians walk by the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, on Thursday, March 5, 2014, in Merced.
Pedestrians walk by the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, on Thursday, March 5, 2014, in Merced.

The Merced Multicultural Arts Center will host a participatory art project focusing on immigration stories, according to organizers.

The event is called the People’s State of the Union and has become an annual effort to collect stories from around the country, according to its website. Merced’s version is 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the center, 645 W. Main St., Merced.

Merced residents are invited to take part in sharing their experiences in what organizers are calling “story circles,” according to Colton Dennis, the center’s executive director. The center will have volunteers on hand to take down the stories.

Participants can have their stories and images uploaded to an online platform, according to Dennis, yielding a body of stories that can be searched and shared.

Merced residents are invited to take part in sharing their experiences in what organizers are calling “story circles,” according to Colton Dennis, executive director of the Merced Multicultural Arts Center.

This year, more than 250 communities across the country are set to participate in the project, which has been around since 2015, according to its website.

The collection of stories is the source material for an address, which is composed and performed by poets from across the country. The address is to be hosted by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on March 11.

The People’s State of the Union is an effort from the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, which is not an official government agency and describes itself as “a people-powered movement dedicated to cultivating empathy, equity and social imagination.”

For more on the local event, call Dennis at 209-388-1090 or email director@artsmerced.org.

For more information visit usdac.us/psotu. The event is free.

Thaddeus Miller: 209-385-2453, @thaddeusmiller

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