NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will participate in the “Dear World” portrait and story-telling project on Monday, April 13, as members of the campus community are asked, “If you had one story to share with the world, what would you say?”

“Dear World” is an interactive project that explores the subtle and powerful connections between students, faculty and staff at college campuses around the world. To date, the organization has taken more than 50,000 portraits.

This free event, which primarily is intended for MCLA students, faculty and staff, also is open to the public. In addition to having their portrait taken, participants will be asked to share a message about something or someone they love. The aim is for people to realize that there’s more that brings us together than what keeps us apart.

Representatives from the project will be at MCLA’s Marketplace in the Campus Center, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 13, when participant’s portraits will be taken as they come and go throughout the day.

The event will end with a slideshow of the day’s portraits, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Gym. During this evening portion of the project, the audience will hear stories told by several pre-selected people, whose portraits were taken earlier in the day.

In addition to MCLA students, faculty and staff, other participants will include North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright and a few members of MCLA’s Board of Trustees.

According to Brian Gallagher, coordinator of student conduct and community standards at MCLA, “This event will allow our campus community to come together, share stories and strengthen connections between students, faculty and staff.”

“Dear World” began in 2009 when residents of New Orleans, La., wrote a “love note” to their city. In each place they go, they ask people to share something about themselves, or to send a message to someone or something they care about, regardless of religion, race or language.

“Dear World” at MCLA is being sponsored by the MCLA Foundation, the President’s Office and the Office of Student Affairs.

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Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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