WATSONVILLE — Earlier this year, the Watsonville Public Library was one of 12 libraries across the state to receive a grant to help engage local immigrants.
The $5,000 grant, from California Humanities as part of its Library Innovation Program, aims to reach those immigrant communities through humanities programming.
The library reached out to the community and invited them to tell their immigration stories at two meetings. Those stories were then incorporated into designs for a series of murals that will be on display throughout the library once completed.
But first, the library is seeking input from the public on the final designs for the murals.
Local muralist Jaime Sanchez and a team of young artists developed the concepts, which are on display in the library through Friday.
The murals will represent the cultures that make up the Pajaro Valley, such as the Croatians, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Portuguese and more.
“We are trying to represent all the different cultures,” said Alicia Martinez, principal librarian.
After the designs are chosen, the public will be invited to paint the murals at the downtown farmers market on Aug. 31 and Sept. 7 from 4-6 p.m.
More community painting days will take place at the library from Sept. 20-24, and Martinez said the activity is open to all ages.
The new murals will be unveiled Oct. 17.
In addition, designs for “Celebrating the Dignity of Labor,” a series of 16 mosaic medallions that were embedded in sidewalks downtown in 2017, will be on display in the library’s computer lab during the week of Oct. 8.
The new murals are not the only activity the library will organize thanks to the grant. On Nov. 8 from 6-8 p.m., the library, along with the City of Watsonville and Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, will present an event in which a number of community members will talk briefly on topics centered around migration, local history, farm workers and more.
The Cooking Club on Dec. 13 will invite cultural groups to host a table where they will display a dish and the recipe.
For information, visit www.cityofwatsonville.org/1677/Library-Innovation-Lab-2018.