Presented by The Gifford Foundation “What If…” Film Series in partnership with
The Erie Canal Museum, the New American Women’s Empowerment Group and ArtRage Gallery
Screened at the Erie Canal Museum
Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In this one small town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Just a stone’s throw away from Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan), longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.
The film captures the interaction between these residents as they navigate new waters against the backdrop of a tumultuous year. The economy is in crisis, factories are closing, and jobs are hard to find. The local Tyson chicken plant is hiring hundreds of new Somali refugees, and when a local reporter initiates a series of articles about the newcomers, a flurry of controversy and debate erupts within the town. The story is an intimate portrayal of a community’s struggle to understand what it means to be American.
Free and Open to the Public. Followed by a community discussion.
The event will be held in the second floor gallery. Please enter the main entrance and use the elevator or stairs on the left.
Free parking is available in the lot on Erie Boulevard East under routes 81 and 690.