This concert is part of a creative initiative George Lernis hopes will reduce stereotypes of immigrants and offer a more accurate perspective of those who come to the United States. This he believes can in part be achieved by sharing culturally resonant art and music with the public, giving voice to the immigrant power and concerns, offering workshops to immigrant creatives and students, and continuing to provide support to an emerging network of vital and creative contributors who have come from outside to the US to build a life and contribute their own authentic selves to an evolving society.
As an immigrant himself, also a victim of stereotypes, Lernis believes the authentic expression of one’s cultural and ethnic identity can be an antidote to the incomplete and often inaccurate narratives against immigrants and immigration in the US. Lernis believes that in a country like the US, the potential to build cohesion through different cultural traditions, backgrounds, race, religion, and philosophies is unlike any other country.
Such variety, however, also poses a challenge – especially when desparaging or simplistic profiles of various ethnicities or races and their traditions are propagated through media and entertainment sources. The answer, according to Lernis, can be to continue to do what he is already doing and share that with others:
- infuse culture through an artistic practice, music in his case;
- share the art and journey with audiences, fellow immigrants, communities, universities, and conservatories;
- build up a supportive community of artists who have found ways to express culture and ethnicity through the arts, media and other creative disciplines as part of a welcome identity.
In this way, the growing and various expressions of the myriad of people coming to the United States can be experienced through artistic and media outlets – which over time can replace the destructive stereotypes that limit perspectives of vast numbers of talented and contributing community members in the US.
What is next
A more detailed description of this project is available and will also contain updates, events, and more.