According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), approximately 25.4 million people are living as refugees in the world today. In the face of many divisive conversations in the world today, a number of artists have adopted the butterfly symbol to comment on the nature of migration and immigration. To help demonstrate the enormous number of people who have been displaced from their homelands and to help encourage support for these communities, we are creating an art installation featuring 254,000 butterflies. Each butterfly will represent 100 refugees living in the world today. The butterflies will be fixed on canvases and will be hung around Des Moines in the month of June. On June 22, we will collect all of the panels at the World Refugee Day celebration.
And we need your help to make this happen.
We are seeking individuals and groups to help create the panels. Got a group of friends, a scout troupe, a crafting club or a church group? Consider committing to creating 1,000—or more—butterflies to help us reach our goal. We are also in search of businesses and organizations around Des Moines interested in showing their support for refugee communities by hanging one or more panels in their location. If you are interested in helping make this work of art and act of support become a reality, please email Leslie Olson at LOlson@oakridgeneighborhood.org or call 515-346-4869.