Headquartered at the Burroughs Community Center in Bridgeport, the organization Our Woven Community began in 2014. Our Woven Community empowers refugee women to learn entrepreneurial skills and become self-sufficient leaders while taking pride in their heritage and earning direct economic benefits. Twelve artists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Burundi work together with volunteers to design products, manage materials and sell the finished items. The artists learn to operate sewing machines to create handbags, scarves and other items using donated fabrics.

The Fairfield Museum is displaying a variety of the products produced by Our Woven Community in the Ruth Carlson Horn Gallery. In addition, the exhibition features biographies of some of the women who participate in the program. Sauda, for example, is originally from Burundi, where she lost her mother and siblings due to violence. She escaped with her three children and fled to a refugee camp in Tanzania. She spent 15 years there before arriving in the United States. The handcrafted items and biographies will be on view through April 29. In addition, items created by the women involved in Our Woven Community are available for purchase at the Museum Shop, open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 370 Beach Road.

Our Woven Community is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “An American Story: Finding Home in Fairfield County,” which features a series of photographic portraits and biographical narratives that show how eight individuals from Cambodia, Congo, Cuba, Hungary, India, Rwanda, and Syria have rebuilt their lives and created a sense of home. It is open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, visit Fairfieldhistory.org/exhibitions-2/an-american-story/. The exhibition is presented with CIRI and sponsored by Newman’s Own Foundation.

The Fairfield Museum & History Center and Museum Shop, located at 370 Beach Road, are open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members of the museum and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information, call 203-259-1598 or visit Fairfieldhistory.org.

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2014

The year the organization Our Woven Community began in the Burroughs Community Center in Bridgeport.