Stockbridge, MA, August 22, 2014—For the third year, Norman Rockwell Museum is partnering with the Berkshire Immigrant Center to host a naturalization ceremony, to be held in the Museum’s galleries on Saturday, September 6, starting at 10 a.m. Berkshire County residents who immigrated to the country from around the world will be sworn-in as new naturalized United States citizens during a special ceremony to be held against the backdrop of Norman Rockwell’s iconic Four Freedoms paintings.
“Hosting the citizenship naturalization ceremonies has been one of my most rewarding moments during all my years with the Museum,” notes Norman Rockwell Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt. “As reflected in his art, Norman Rockwell celebrated all the world’s cultures and peoples—I hope our new citizens will always feel at home here at the Museum, and hold a special memory of this ceremony.”
For the third time, the ceremony will be presided over by Berkshire District Court Judge Fredric D. Rutberg, a resident of Stockbridge, who was also sworn in at Norman Rockwell Museum back in 1994, in front of The Four Freedoms. “It is the highest privilege I could ever have to be asked to do this,” says Rutberg. “I’m delighted and honored.”
Adding to the proceedings, there will be a flag presentation during the ceremony from the Dalton American Legion Post 155 Color Guard, and Berkshire Immigrant Center’s Brooke Mead will perform patriotic songs for new citizens, their families, and other local officials and dignitaries; William Bateman, Chief Court Officer for Berkshire County, will formally open and close the program.
Over a dozen residents are expected to be sworn in as U.S. citizens during the September 6 ceremony; originating from such countries as Argentina, Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, Nigeria, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Support for the event is provided by Berkshire Bank Foundation, Berkshire Health Systems and Helen Bing. Additional support is encouraged, and can be arranged by contacting the Museum at 413.931.2221, or email@example.com. The event is free for Museum members, or with regular Museum admission.
About Berkshire Immigrant Center
In general, to obtain U.S. citizenship, one must hold legal permanent resident (green card) status for a minimum of five years (three years if married this whole time to a U.S. citizen), take an exam on U.S. history and civics, demonstrate proficiency in the English language, and be of “good moral character” among other requirements. The Berkshire Immigrant Center offers assistance with every aspect of the naturalization process including screening for eligibility, application support, disability and fee waivers, legal assistance, transportation, advocacy with USCIS, and English language, history and civics classes. For more information about the Center, please call 413.445.4881 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.