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September 11, 2023


Andrea Castillo

(301) 699-3500 x6158

Welcoming Week and Festival of Cultures celebrate Prince George’s immigrant community 

Largo, Maryland

Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) is proud to celebrate its vibrant and diverse immigrant community with a series of Welcoming Week programs September 8-17, 2023, in a lead up to a Festival of Cultures that features special performers from all over the globe at the Laurel Branch Library on September 30.

Library staff will host storytimes, film discussions, speakers, and craft programs during Welcoming Week. 

“For Welcoming Week, the library is creating a positive story about the immigrant, refugee, and New American community through our books, programming, resources, and Welcoming Week corners. This initiative serves as a reminder that everyone from every culture contributes to the fabric of our society,” said Maribel Rodriguez, PGCMLS’ bilingual program and outreach associate. “The hope is that by sharing about our diverse communities, people can continue to connect and see the beauty and value in one another. It can be a bridge to acceptance, love, and belonging.”

Welcoming Week Programs: :

In addition to the Welcoming Week programs, PGCMLS will host its third annual Festival of Cultures on Saturday, September 30, from 10:30 am-2 pm at the Laurel Branch Library, featuring a variety of storytime, dance, and musical performances. Registration is encouraged but not required. 

  • 10:30 am–11:15 am: Storytime by Sista' Ruff
  • 11:15 am–12 pm: Fritete African Drumming & Dance Group
  • 12–12:45 pm: Dance Program by Carolina Garzon Hernandez
  • 1–2 pm: Travel Buddies: Dancing Through Latin America Play with Teatro La Bolsa
  • 11:30 am–1:30 pm: Face Painting

PGCMLS is also partnering with Prince George’s County Office of Community Relations and UNICEF USA to host a September 19 stop on a national tour with Little Amal, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl, at the International High School of Langley Park at 10 am. Little Amal was created by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa and has been brought to 15 countries to share a message of hope and solidarity for displaced people. From September to November 2023, the puppet will travel more than 6,000 miles across the U.S., traveling from Boston to San Diego and also includes stops in Baltimore and Washington, DC. 

These events complement PGCMLS’ ongoing Immigrant Proud initiative to provide resources and programs to immigrants and refugees in Prince George’s County, where nearly one in four residents was born outside of the U.S., according to Census data. Through the Immigrant Proud page, library users can learn more about attending conversation clubs and reading and writing classes for Spanish-speaking adults, getting a passport appointment, borrowing a Chromebook with built-in internet, accessing online resources to prepare for the citizenship exam, building their language skills, and more.

Graphics Package

About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 967,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, the County Correctional Center Library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve book lovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. PGCMLS is the recipient of two Top Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council (2023 - Democracy; 2021 - Workforce and Economic Development). Learn more at