WILLMAR - The Willmar Somali Culture committee will showcase a Somali history and culture exhibit that opens today at the Willmar Public Library and Saturday at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society community room.
Told through immersive settings, artifacts, photos and firsthand accounts, the exhibit tells the story of Somali immigrants, their arrival in their newly adopted home of Minnesota, and the successes and struggles they have faced.
Exhibit attendees can see and celebrate the story of Somali culture, spanning traditional life in Africa, through the massive migration that began in the 1990s, to today's large, well-established Minnesota Somali community.
• Learning how to load a camel for travel across the desert
• The experience of Somalia's history through a collection of photographs and traditional objects
"This exhibit is a wonderful way to celebrate the East African community and learn more about their stories," said Doris Cogelow, one of the project's organizers and a member of the Healthy Together Willmar Community Table. "This will give all community members the opportunity to more deeply understand their neighbors' history, learn answers to hard-to-ask questions, and ultimately create deeper connections across cultures and communities."
The exhibit was developed in partnership with the Willmar Somali Culture Committee, funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's Healthy Together Willmar initiative, and in cooperation with the Minnesota Historical Society.