Norman Rockwell Museum To Host Fifth Annual United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony
Please note access to galleries will be limited during this event. We expect the ceremony to conclude around 11:30am. Seating is given to new citizens and their families; Museum visitors are welcome to observe the ceremony based on space availability.
Stockbridge, MA, September 2, 2016—In partnership with Berkshire Immigrant Center, Norman Rockwell Museum will host a naturalization ceremony for the fifth year on Saturday, September 10, 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. “Norman Rockwell celebrated all the world’s cultures and peoples through his art. I hope our new citizens will always feel at home here at the Museum, and hold a special memory of this ceremony.”
Ms. Norton Moffatt adds that, “voting is one of the great privileges of citizenship, and one that Rockwell addressed frequently in his artwork. It is especially rewarding for this year’s new citizens to have opportunity to vote during a presidential election year.”
This year’s ceremony is made possible with generous support from Berkshire Bank and Helen Bing.
The ceremony will be presided over by the Honorable Joan M. McMenemy, First Justice of Berkshire County Juvenile Court. Opening and welcoming remarks are to be provided by Ms. Norton Moffatt; Luis Chaves, Field Office Director, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; and Ellen Kennedy, President of Berkshire Community College.
“There are some really good days in all our lives which are life-altering and inspirational,” observes Judge McMenemy. “For some, it is the day they take the oath and become a U.S. citizen. I am thrilled to be a part of this event, and help bring a conclusion to the candidates’ arduous path to citizenship. I look forward to meeting them and thanking them individually for their patience, courage and hard work.”
Adding to the proceedings, the Dalton American Legion Post 155 Color Guard will present the colors, and Berkshire Immigrant Center’s Brooke Mead will perform patriotic songs for new citizens, their families, and other local officials and dignitaries. David Hadley, Chief Court Officer for Berkshire County Superior Court, will formally open and close the program. A reception for the new citizens and their families will follow the ceremony.
Berkshire Community College, Blue Q, and anonymous donors have provided additional support for the event.
Priority seating is given to new citizens and their families; Museum visitors are welcome to observe the ceremony based on space availability. Additional support for the event is encouraged, and can be arranged by contacting the Museum at 413.931.2221.
About Berkshire Immigrant Center
Each year the Berkshire Immigrant Center assists over one hundred local residents in their pursuit of U.S. citizenship. 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.