Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border
¡Mi travesía hasta Wisconsin!
In 2018, Wisconsin Humanities and Centro Hispano of Dane County worked together to imagine how contemporary questions and concerns about immigration could be addressed through stories, history, and conversation.
Eight people living in Dane County who emigrated from Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, and Uruguay stepped forward to share parts of their personal journeys and experiences. They were interviewed by Wisconsin journalist Bill Berry, who has covered immigration, agriculture, and the state for decades, and photographed by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Gary Porter. Wisconsin Humanities built a traveling exhibit and website to share these individual's stories, in their own words, along with some contextual background and a historical timeline of immigration in Wisconsin. Each of the people remained involved after their interviews and approved the excerpts shared in the exhibit and on the website.
The exhibit began touring in Dane County in 2019 with an opening at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. It then moved on to the communities of Verona, Sun Prairie, and Mount Horeb, and was also on view at the Central Library in Madison. The Dane County tour closed with a reception at Madison Area Technical College. Based on the response of visitors, the interest from around the state, and the goals of Centro Hispano, we decided to have a second copy of the exhibit built and embark on a statewide tour. We developed discussion questions and partnered with Local Voices Network (LVN) to offer small-group conversations about immigration. The conversations were recorded and participants' perspectives became anonymously part of a digital archive easily heard and read by policymakers, journalists, and the broader public.
Immigrant Journeys exhibit toured Wisconsin from 2020-2022. You can still read the eight personal stories and use our resources to explore Wisconsin's immigration history, policy, and future.
"Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border ¡Mi travesía hasta Wisconsin!" the traveling exhibit, was produced by Wisconsin Humanities in partnership with Centro Hispano of Dane County. The two organizations came together as natural allies in strengthening community ties and building understanding among neighbors. This is a project of Wisconsin Humanities with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alumni Circle of Wisconsin Humanities.
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