Local artists: join our wall of hope art show 

At the Heartland Workers Center, we are working to challenge the highly charged rhetoric around immigration in our country. Instead of building walls that divide us, we are building a wall that brings us together – a wall composed of stories representing our hopes and dreams.

What you can do: Bring a story of an immigrant or refugee neighbor to life through visual or performance art. Your "Wall of Hope" art will be shared at a local gallery and across the state.

When: Ongoing; First show: June 1, 2018

How to get involved: Read the details below and contact Abbie Kretz at 402.933.6095 or abbie (at) heartlandworkerscenter.org



A local immigrant leader in South Omaha was an inspiration and catalyst for this project. Her family of five is of mixed status – both she and her husband are undocumented, while her oldest child has DACA, her middle child could not apply, and her youngest is a U.S. citizenship.

Their story is like that of so many others across this nation. They came to the U.S. seeking out a better life for their family because they could not build better lives for their kids in their home country. They are hard-working parents, with kids who go to school and have dreams of becoming something some day. But their lives are greatly impacted by our broken immigration system. Their story – like that of so many others – has value and deserves to be heard.

We created this project as a way to create safe spaces to share real stories of those who are affected by the current immigration situation and garner increasing support for our immigrant and refugee communities.

Through our “Wall of Hope,” our goal is to share the stories of immigrants and refugees in Nebraska, who as individuals, workers, students, and families have helped to build and strengthen our communities across Nebraska. 

Currently, we are collecting stories from our immigrant and refugee neighbors. We will hang them on our wall – a barbed-wire fence representing the fences so many immigrants have passed through on our Southern Border.

As we work to bring these stories to life, we are asking local artists (or anyone for that matter) to interpret these stories into either a visual or performance piece. We know that for many people, the interpretation of a story is not only what they read, but how the story elicits a response or an emotion.

Our goal is to then display both the story and its artistic interpretation at galleries across the state.


Wall of Hope Submission Specifications

Material: Any 2D or 3D Media; Any performance piece

Size Requirement: None but display of work depends upon gallery space

Portability: Artist will be required to pack own piece

Liability: HWC cannot be held liable for any damage done to the piece

Deadlines: Ongoing; First show: June 1, 2018



If you are interested in participating in this project, please email Abbie Kretz the media you use, three examples of your work, and a link to view your work online if you have one available. We are accepting applications on an ongoing basis, although we are planning our first showing of the wall and corresponding art on June 1 in Omaha. At the same time, we are planning on this being a traveling exhibit, so depending on the space available, only some works will be exhibited. In addition, a jury will select the pieces to be shown.

As entries come in, we will work with you to connect you with a local immigrant or refugee in order for you to meet with him or her. Another option would be to read one of the collected, written stories and make an interpretation from there. As we move forward, we would like to ask you if you would consider being more engaged with your piece, either through artist talks or participants in opening receptions.

Lastly, as the topic at hand is quite controversial, we reserve the right to refuse any images.




Header photo by russn_fckr on Unsplash
Art = change photo by Peder Cho on Unsplash