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Immigration movie, discussion coming to Orpheum

Event this Wednesday night

April 16, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Shelbyville, Tenn. is a town much like Marshalltown, in the fact that it too had a major influx of an immigrant population.

How the small Tennessee town worked to bring the community together was a subject of a documentary film "Welcome to Shelbyville," which will be screened at the Orpheum Theater Wednesday.

The free one-hour movie will be shown at 6:30 p.m. with a discussion to follow on how the town dealt with an immigrant population and how Marshalltown can learn from them. It is being presented by the Immigrant Allies of Marshalltown, along with Welcoming Iowa and the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition.

Article Photos

The movie “Welcome to Shelbyville” will be screened for free at the Orpheum Theater at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night. A discussion on how towns deal with immigration will follow.

"The Shelbyville community decided to be proactive in building bridges between the long-standing residents and the newer residents," said Joa LaVille of the Immigrant Allies of Marshalltown. "After the movie, we'll be talking about what the welcoming initiative is and about our community."

The film is being shown throughout several Iowa communities as part of the Welcoming Iowa initiative.

"It shows an example of where you have ethnic divisions all kind of working together to reach across and build bridges," said Geof Fischer, project coordinator with the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition. "That's exactly what we are trying to do."

Fact Box

If you go

WHAT: Screening of the film "Welcome to Shelbyville" and discussion on immigration

WHEN: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Orpheum Theater

For more information about the movie, which is free as a result of a donation from the Morning Optimist Club, visit or email

LaVille said the movie will act as a kickoff event for a welcoming initiative by the group and she expects more community meetings in the future.



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