Anya Kozyar Grutman, a recent immigrant from Ukraine, sings during First Friday's "Acts of Welcome" at the Ware Center in Lancaster on Friday, May 6, 2022. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)
Anya Kozyar Grutman, a recent immigrant from Ukraine, sings during First Friday's "Acts of Welcome" at the Ware Center in Lancaster on Friday, May 6, 2022. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

Members of Lancaster's immigrant and refugee communities showed off their artistic talents at the Ware Center on First Friday.

In partnership with Lancaster's Church World Service and the Pennsylvania Migrant Education Program, the annual "Acts of Welcome" performance at Millersville University's Ware Center in downtown Lancaster brings together cultures from around the world. Friday featured musicians from the Congo, Peru and Ukraine and dancers from Nepal and Bhutan.

Interspersed with the songs and dances were short talks from speakers from Iraq and Nepal describing their resettlement experience. They are part of Church World Service's New Neighbors Speakers Bureau, launched as a way to connect refugees and immigrants with the broader community.

Valentina Ross, Church World Service Lancaster's director, emcee'd the evening.

"We are here to honor those who make the difficult and brave decision to leave their homes and start new lives elsewhere," she said.

A related art exhibit, "Mementos y derivas," by Claudia Rojas, a native of Cuba, is on view in the Ware Center's lobby through June 25.

Photo gallery

Tim Stuhldreher