Dona came into their lives when they needed a voice. Even when their from-everywhere-but-here voices didn’t have the English words, she knew they had a voice. A voice that could be captured with a silhouette, an object (a butterfly, a soccer goal, a basketball net) decorating the background, a set of braids flying through the sky, a snow-covered backdrop of Denver’s best park out of focus… because her focus was them.

Immigration stories. Refugee stories. Lost mother/father/brother/sister stories. Stories of trauma, of grief. Of hope, of renewal.

Dona listened to them all. She captured them all. She recorded their words, through our patient interpreters, through her patience, and through her kindness, until she had a moment to spend with her art. Her art would give a voice to the voiceless. Her patience and kindness made a home where the students often had none. Her love for what is good in humanity is found in their stories.

Dona Laurita is an artist, as are the Newcomers. And tonight, tomorrow, and for the future of humanity, they will share their art with you. The outlines of their young lives rest behind these images. Their words will haunt you and lull you to sleep. And you will see the beauty of life, the beauty of photography, the beauty of stories that we need to hear.

Dona has given a voice to the voiceless.


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