Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=178902
Story Retrieval Date: 12/6/2013 12:18:35 PM CST
DuPage community organizations are extending their services to immigrant populations, and the People’s Resource Center of Wheaton is adding its mark on the increasingly diverse canvas.
PRC, which offers a food pantry, career services, literary programs and computer skills among other services, debuted its Women’s Wisdom Artisan program last fall. The jewelry-making project – the brainchild of PRC board vice president Barbara Tartaglione – teaches area women how to make and market their own creations.
Last fall, Betty James, owner of The Genuine Article in downtown Wheaton, agreed to instruct the eight area women in three jewelry-making sessions at her shop.
“I was glad to see that they were incorporating their ethnicity into the design that they were doing because so often that kind of thing gets lost,” James said.
Of the initial participants, two are Sudanese, three are Hispanic, one is Ukrainian and two others grew up in the U.S. And their ages are as varied as their backgrounds – the youngest is in her 20s, the oldest in her 60s.
“I do think it is continuing to mirror that diversity that we're serving,” said PRC Executive Director Kim Perez. “I think that that will continue and we’re really hoping to be able to offer classes on a continuous basis.”
A new round of classes for another eight budding artists is set for June, said Lesley Gena, coordinator of the program. Hopeful participants are already on a waiting list, she added.