Harbor Voices Public Art makes community collaborative free and public audiovisual art exhibitions, including light & sound installations, augmented reality / virtual reality, photography, and video art. We believe that art, particularly participatory projects, has the ability to bring people together and impact the future. Through storytelling sessions and public art, Harbor Voices celebrates cultural diversity, augments family and community bonds, and creates resilience in our youth participants. Through our work, participants deepen their understanding of the immigrant experience, celebrate cultural identity, experience enhanced empathy and acceptance by discovering shared experience, and gain confidence their voices can be a vehicle for social change.
Now, more than ever, we should celebrate our ancestral immigration histories and origin pasts in conjunction with our country's immigration future. When one shares a story of their families' arrival to the US, they discover their ancestors' struggles might look similar to the struggles recent immigrants face today, such as language barriers. Our work is place-specific. We begin each installation artist outreach in local schools, non-profits, and other local organizations to capture a range of community voices reflecting a global mix of immigrant stories, spanning centuries, in a variety of languages. Community outreach can be as simple as hosting evening storytelling sessions or as complex as creating an arts-based afterschool program for ELL students at a public school. We then partner with local municipalities, arts organizations, or museums to create public artworks that incorporate the voices and art ideas the storytelling participants gravitate toward.
We create immersive audiovisual laser and sound installations. Quotes from the audio recorded in storytelling sessions is condensed into an 8-minute sound collage, featuring a "babble" of languages & stories overlapping into the sound of crashing waves. Quotes emerge from the waves as a web of light is projected overhead. The sound installation immerses visitors in connected ancestral & recent immigration stories, while choreographed overhead lasers visualize the web of connectivity between stories of the past and stories of the present.
“My paternal great grandparents immigrated to Gloucester from the Azores. What a lovely tribute to the past, present, and future people who make Gloucester home.”—MP MULLIN, Harbor Voices Installation Visitor
"When my ELL students, who just arrived to this country, see their stories shared in the context of other stories about immigration and local history, I think they feel part of a larger community and more welcome here." —Teacher, Gloucester High School
Harbor Voices installations are a celebration of diversity; immigration generates the vibrant mix of cultures that make our historic towns & cities extraordinary. We hope each participant walks away from an installation with a renewed sense that their voices and creative expressions can be a vehicle for change.