Palaver Strings presents “Seeking Sanctuary” at Boston Center for the Arts

Palaver Strings presents “Seeking Sanctuary,” a performance that explores the experience of Boston’s immigrant communities, Feb. 9–11. (Image courtesy of Boston Center for the Arts.)

Boston—As part of its yearlong residency at Boston Center for the Arts, Palaver Strings presents Seeking Sanctuary, a performance that explores the experience of Boston’s immigrant communities, February 9–11 at the Cyclorama at the BCA.

At a time when immigration policy is at the forefront of our national politics, Palaver Strings seeks to humanize the conversation with a concert that celebrates three of the city’s largest immigrant groups and explores the importance of sanctuary cities. The multi-disciplinary experience uses music, spoken word, visual art, projections, and more to share stories of Boston immigrants collected during community workshops to emphasize our shared cultural heritage and promote empathy.

With a special focus on Boston’s Irish, Cape Verdean, and Chinese communities, the 14-person artist-led orchestra Palaver Strings welcomes guest artists Zhantao Lin (erhu), Benvindo Cruz (vocals), and Joey Abarta (uilleann pipes) for this program. The concert features a newly commissioned work by Irish fiddler and composer Charlie Lennon, new arrangements of music from Cape Verde and China, as well as spoken-word personal narratives from members of the featured communities. BCA Resident Artist Miriam Shenitzer and light-projectionist John Powell will transform the historic Cyclorama with an art installation incorporating hundreds of stories gathered from workshop participants and audience members.

In a series of workshops at The Chinatown Neighborhood Center, the Cape Verdean Adult Daycare Center, and the Irish International Immigration Center, members of Palaver and facilitator Francesca Crutchfield-Stoker from the Immigration & Refugee Clinic at Harvard University will engage participants in conversation about their journeys, life in Boston, and the impact of their culture’s music and art on the city. These workshops foster dialogue by creating an interactive space where individuals and families from these communities explore their experiences through art, music, and story. Workshops will be closed to the public and will take place early in 2018, prior to the Seeking Sanctuary concerts.

Seeking Sanctuary will be presented at Boston Center for the Arts’ Cyclorama, February 9 and 10 at 8 pm, and February 11 at 3 pm, with a special ACLU-led panel following the concert on February 11. Tickets start at $10 for students and seniors, and $15 for standard tickets.  For more information or to purchase, please visit For more information, visit

Members of the press are invited to attend workshops and rehearsals, and photos and interviews are available in advance of the concert. To arrange, please contact Robin Allen LaPlante at

Palaver Strings, a musician-led string ensemble and nonprofit, is passionate about taking classical music beyond the concert hall to engage with new and diverse audiences. Since its opening season in 2014, Palaver has performed at the Kennedy Center, Bay Chamber’s Screen Door Festival, the Hammond Concert Series, and a celebration of the Lullaby Project at Carnegie Hall. Palaver is currently in residence at the Boston Center for the Arts and continues its longstanding residency at Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine. To find out more, visit

Boston Center for the Arts is the nexus of the arts in Boston, fostering the development of contemporary visual and performing arts and convening artists and audiences to create, explore and celebrate all creative disciplines. Part of the cultural fabric of the city of Boston, Boston Center for the Arts utilizes its historic campus in the vibrant South End to present world-class exhibitions and performances, provide affordable work space, engage cultural consumers throughout the region, and nurture artists with the resources to take risks and develop new art works.

Boston Center for the Arts is generously supported by hundreds of individual donors, businesses and family foundations, including The Barr Foundation and the Klarman Family Foundation in collaboration with the Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Boston Foundation, The Liberty Mutual Foundation, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

To learn more, visit

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