New Haven Registrar | By Joe Amarante
For families helped by Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, this city is aptly named. And with the Music Haven nonprofit also getting involved, it’s a place of new musical horizons.
The Whalley Avenue music education group, home to the Haven String Quartet, is presenting a series of workshops and concerts for IRIS families, including a concert by the quartet at 6 p.m. Friday night at Fair Haven School, 164 Grand Ave.
Students will also perform in the free concert, “Traveling the World with the Haven String Quartet,” open to newcomers and any other members of the public. There will be an instrument “petting zoo” for children to try out.
According to a Music Haven release, the first collaboration with IRIS was last month, when Senior Resident Violinist Yaira Matyakubova took a group of Music Haven students to the IRIS after-school program at Fair Haven School to play for a group of refugee children who are new to New Haven.
The idea for the project came from some of the youngest Music Haven students, during a discussion about refugees, the release said. The kids decided they wanted to share music with recent refugee children, since language isn’t a barrier in music. Matyakubova came here from Uzbekistan when she was 16, a memory that replays when she sees the children of IRIS.
Music Haven recently received a $5,000 Neighborhood Cultural Vitality Grant (a short-term initiative of the Mayor’s Community Arts Grant Program) to support the collaboration with IRIS.