The Nashua Public Library joins Welcoming America and hundreds of other organizations nationwide in celebrating “Welcoming Week” this September 9-18, 2022, by hosting events to bring neighbors together and promote cross-cultural understanding, resulting in a stronger community for all. The library’s events are free, open to everyone, and focus on cultural experiences, including food, dance, and music.
“Our library is a place where everyone belongs,” said Jennifer McCormack, Director of the Nashua Public Library. “During Welcoming Week, we’re using our space as a community hub to celebrate the contributions of immigrants and refugees in a spirit of unity. We believe that community begins here at the library, but belonging begins with each of us,” said McCormack.
As part of its commitment to being a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space, the library is hosting the following events featuring local performers, instructors, and organizations.
Saturday, September 10
A celebration of all things K-Pop! Join us in the NPL Theater any time between 1:00 – 4:00 pm for:
- Free Korean snacks
- Korean language table
- Streaming K-Pop videos
- A craft and gaming table to make and learn how to play Ddakji
- A display of Korean-related books and Korean-American authors
- A special performance by Boston and LA-based K-Pop cover dance crew, HUSH CREW at 2 pm!
Tuesday, September 13
Music of the World Jr.
10:30 – 11:00 am
Little ones will have a blast discovering their place in our big world. Join our expert guide on a live music tour filled with singing, movement, and interactive music games inspired by different cultures. Perfect for children under 5 and their families. Presented by the Nashua Community Music School.
¡Viva La Musica!
5:30 – 6:15 pm
Get ready to groove and feel the rhythm as you explore the music and culture of Latin America. Led by an expert guide, everyone will get the chance to play authentic instruments, learn songs, and get inspired to celebrate the musical beauty of the different regions of Latin America.
Ideal for curious kids K-5 and their families. Presented by the Nashua Community Music School. Registration is required.
Wednesday, September 14
Indian & Persian Concert, Coffee and Conversation with Symphony NH
5:30 – 6:30 pm
Conductor Roger Kalia and musicians from Symphony NH will perform a 30-minute cross-cultural music concert connecting the music traditions of India and the West. Children and their adults are invited to experience the music in a designated “Family Room’ with a related art activity. Following the performance, enjoy complimentary Indian pastries, coffee, and conversation.
Afrobeats Dance Class
7:00 – 8:15 pm
Come and learn, digest, and embody the energetic and upbeat movement style of Afro-House. This style is usually accompanied by Afrobeat, a music genre that mixes western-pop with African tribal-influenced music.
For all ages. Presented by Our Space for Welcoming Week.
Sunday, September 18
Bachata Dance Class
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Once stigmatized and censored under dictator Rafael Trujillo, Bachata grew out of the rural countryside of the Dominican Republic in the 1960s to become a popular dance style worldwide and an important cultural expression for the Dominican people. The experts from the Bella Vita Dance Company will lead us through a one-hour class that will take you through the simple eight-step structure of Bachata and have you ready to dance this style wherever you go.
Now in its 10th year, Welcoming Week is an annual, non-partisan event. This year, the library set out to evolve its programming to reflect a greater number of the communities it serves. The Greater Nashua Smart Coalition and Southern New Hampshire University generously sponsored the entire week of events to support this mission and their communities. These valuable partnerships allowed the library to offer more inter-generational programming and increase outreach efforts into historically underserved communities.
“Southern New Hampshire University is proud to support Nashua Public Library’s Welcoming Week 2022. Nashua is a vibrant and diverse community and the opportunity to bring residents together from all backgrounds and identities is a powerful one,” said Steve Thiel, Assistant Vice President of Community Impact. “The ability to experience music, dance, and cultural expression is vital and an important part of making southern New Hampshire feel welcome to all,” said Thiel.
For Liz Fitzgerald, Interim Director of the Greater Nashua Smart Start Coalition, the library’s focus on intergenerational programming aligned with their organization’s mission to improve awareness and access to resources that create opportunities for positive learning experiences, maternal and child health, and strong families.
“Welcoming Week is a perfect way to welcome families that are new to the area to participate in our coalition and help us create the kind of community that works best for young families—one where all children can thrive,” said Fitzgerald, who is also the Director of Community Impact for United Way Greater Nashua.
Community members are encouraged to visit the Nashua Public Library’s website at www.Nashualibrary.org/welcomingweek and its social media pages for details on its Welcoming Week events and additional resources for immigrants and refugees. Plus, everyone is invited to participate in a Welcoming Week virtual challenge on Beanstack. Complete activities that encourage you to learn more about your neighbors and the many cultures celebrated here in Nashua. Register online at nashualibrary.beanstack.org.
Saturday, September 17 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Additional Resources for New Americans
Nashua Public Library Services and Resources
- The library has books in Spanish, (Brazilian) Portuguese, French, German, Russian, Telagu, Hindi, and Chinese (Mandarin).
- Users can find a “Citizenship Corner” near the public computers. Documents for applying for the citizenship process are available.
- Transparent Language – A free online language learning program.
- English Practice Conversation Group – Meets every Thursday at the library from 5 – 6 pm.
- Spanish Story Time – Last Saturday of each month at 2 pm.
- The Welcoming Library, from the I’m Your Neighbor Books, is on loan from the NH State Library and on display in the Children’s Room for the month of September. It features a variety of books about the immigrant and refugee experiences with discussion questions in the back.
- Visit the Children’s and Teen Rooms for virtual displays of immigrant and refugee stories.