“Clients often tell us that the art reminds them of home,” says Jacob Brescia-Weiler, a summer intern at Project Citizenship. Considering that Project Citizenship’s mission is to educate immigrants about the benefits of citizenship, and to help permanent residents overcome barriers to naturalization, getting clients to feel at home in their facilities is a big deal.
With the help of The Art Connection, Project Citizenship has had two successful art placements in 2014 and 2016. Artwork hangs in the reception & conference area and the legal offices, where clients go to seek help. “We are so fortunate to have received such beautiful art through The Art Connection. We often have clients and volunteers express surprise at how ‘nice’ our offices are. The art has a big impact in our small space,” remarks Executive Director Veronica Serrato.
The 29 original artworks placed there have been a positive compliment to the nature of supportive services Project Citizenship offers those who walk through their doors. Some of which include free workshops, eligibility screening, application assistance, legal referrals, direct legal assistance, and all materials needed to apply for U.S. citizenship. In addition, Project Citizenship has 10 community partner agencies that provide a range of support services, including civics instruction, application assistance, and English as a second language (ESOL) classes.
“The art is such a wonderful addition to our space. About 75% of our clients are living in poverty. They would not otherwise have the opportunity to be surrounded by original art,” says Program Manager Matthew Jose.
One of the major distinctions in the original artwork selected by Project Citizenship was their interest in abstract paintings and photographs with ambiguous forms. These compositions allow all who engage with the art the opportunity to generate their own narrative about what they see. Much like the quest of coming to a new country, home is what you make it. It’s exciting to know that The Art Connection continues to support people who walk through Project Citizen’s doors with a sense of comfort no matter their origin or destination.
To learn more about Project Citizenship visit their website http://projectcitizenship.org.