by Sue Gladstone

On April 5th, the Concord community overwhelming supported Resettle Together, Concord’s Suitcase Stories Live event at the Umbrella Community Arts Center. The sold out evening supported refugees in New England through the work of the International Institute of New England (IINE). IINE has helped to build vibrant communities in New England by welcoming refugees and immigrants and providing them education and a guided pathway to careers and citizenship. Support for the Concord event, in addition to the 350 ticket holders, were sponsors Reasons to Be Cheerful and the Franz W. Sichel Foundation.

Suitcase Stories is a live performance series that features foreign and US-born residents sharing refugee and immigrant stories. The series is produced in partnership with the IINE and Massmouth. For over 97 years IINE has invested in the future of our towns and cities by preparing refugees and immigrants in the social, economic, and political richness of American life through active citizenship. Each year IINE serves nearly 2,000 refugees and immigrants across three sites in Boston and Lowell, and Manchester, New Hampshire. The mission of Massmouth is to promote the timeless art of storytelling in Massachusetts. Founded in 2009, Massmouth hosts popular monthly slams and special storytelling events throughout Greater Boston.

IINE Resettle Together Network is a growing network of community partners assisting IINE in creating welcoming communities for refugees, and providing immediate and long-term support to individuals and families. Concord Resettle Together is part of this vast network and was pleased to present Suitcase Stories Live. To learn more or support IINE, visit www.iine.org.

The Concord event was the first in a series of Suitcase Stories Live around Massachusetts. If you missed this terrific evening, visit www.iine.org/suitcasestories, or see below a list of future performances:

Sunday, May 7 at the Regent Theater, Arlington, MA
Thursday, June 1 at U-Mass Lowell, Lowell, MA
Thursday, June 22 at TripAdvisor Headquarters, Needham, MA
Thursday, September 14 at WGBH Headquarters, Boston, MA