Recollective co-founder, Chaela Herridge-Meyer is having a busy year in Buffalo, New York. She has spent the past few months working with Jericho Road Ministries, a local organization dedicated to helping refugee and low-income community members living in Buffalo’s West Side neighborhood. The area is home to a particularly diverse refugee community and Jericho Road Ministries serves that community through twelve different programs in the areas of youth and education, health and family services, and adult empowerment.
At the beginning of the year Chaela was asked to document the lives of people served by these programs along with the Jericho Road staff and volunteers who make them happen. She interviewed and photographed participants from countries around the world including Bhutan, Burma, the Congo, Iraq, Nigeria and Sudan. The interviews Chaela gathered will be part of an ongoing project to archive community stories on the Jericho Road Blog but a few of the recordings were part of a site-specific audiovisual installation at this year’s Imprint Buffalo, an annual event designed to raise awareness about and funds for Jericho Road programs. The installation consisted of six tents erected in Kleinhans Music Hall, the location of this year’s event.
As attendees walked through each tent they were greeted by a prerecorded loop of individuals in the community telling stories of arrival, acclimation and service. On display in each tent was a series of black & white inkjet prints, ranging in size from 16 x 20 to 20 x 24, that identified the storytellers and helped illustrate the scenes from their lives. In addition to the installation, the event also featured a short video by David Riffel and speeches by Jericho Road Executive Director Stephanie Lipnicki and founder Dr. Myron Glick.
Imprint Buffalo was a huge success and Chaela is already working on her next project with Jericho Road, a series of interviews with staff and patients at Jericho Road Family Practice about healthcare.
To hear a selection of stories from Imprint Buffalo check out The Recollective’s PRX page at http://www.prx.org/series/32296-imprint-buffalo.