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Community Connections

Becoming Americans: A Historical Perspective

Exhibit by Phillip Ratner  

When Eleanor Sreb, of the Smithsonian Folklife Center, and Ross Holland, National Park Service Associate Director for Cultural Resources Management, approached artist Phillip Ratner to create artwork for Ellis Island, Ratner initially thought, "How do I fit the entire world into a single piece?" Ratner sat for hours on a bench in the Great Hall at Ellis Island sketching, thinking, observing--trying to capture the essence of the immigration experience. Ratner conjured up images of the millions of immigrants who passed through that Great Hall--travel weary people of all ages, creeds and nationalities who hungered for a new life in America. "I picked up the ghosts," Ratner said, "and it changed my life. I felt my grandparents' energy and that of the thousands of immigrants who passed through those halls."

Exhibits are hosted by the American Immigration Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of immigration law and policy and the value of immigration to American society; to promoting public service and excellence in the practice of immigration law; and to advancing fundamental fairness and due process under the law for immigrants.

The American Immigration Council is happy to announce the winner of the 2010 National Creative Writing Contest.

Julia Culbert a fifth grader from Santa Clara Valley was selected from thousands of entries with her piece, "America's Fried."

The Council Invites 14-25 Year Olds to Enter the 2012 “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest 

The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce a call for submissions to the 2012 “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest.

The competition challenges today’s young adults to explore the role that immigration plays in their lives and communities through video and other multimedia projects.

Projects should focus on celebrating America as a nation of immigrants as well as the immigration's impact on our everyday lives.

There are first ($1,000), second ($500) and third place ($250) prizes. 

The deadline is 11:59 EST, October 31, 2012.

For more information on eligibility requirements, application procedures and contest guidelines visit our Multimedia Contest Page.