Festival Features Stories Of Immigrants Looking For New Life In North Texas

This weekend, the Dallas Museum of Art and Oral Fixation will host an evening of personal story telling from immigrants who have made North Texas their home, as part of the Soluna International Music & Arts Festival.

“Destination America” is the theme of the inaugural year of the Dallas Arts District festival. The three-week-long event, featuring the work of artists and writers who immigrated to America, is the brainchild of Dallas Symphony Orchestra CEO & President Jonathan Martin and other leaders in the Dallas Arts District.

“Modern American culture was really created by immigrants,” says Martin. “If you think about this massive influx in the 20th Century of people from all over the world…. seeking a better life, freedom from persecution, freedom for artistic expression.”

One of the immigrants telling her story on Saturday will be Zarni White, who came to the U.S. several years ago from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. She now works as an Economic Empowerment Specialist with the International Rescue Committee in Dallas, which helps around 2,500 refugees every year find a new life in North Texas.

(Photo Courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra)

White grew up in extreme poverty in Myanmar. She lost both of her parents as a child and was raised by her grandmother. With the help of a scholarship from a U.S. organization, she was able to attend a university in her home country.

“I wanted to go to America,” says White. “America is like heaven on earth, you know?”

In the United States, White says that she has found opportunity, happiness….and love. You can hear more of our interview with her here.

(Photo Courtesy of Zarni White)

The DMA and Oral Fixation production of “Destination America” is Saturday, May 16 at 7:30 pm. The Soluna International Music & Arts Festival continues through May 24th.

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