New mural Downtown Celebrates Karen Burmese Refugees in Ithaca

A new mural in Ithaca tells a deep story. With the help of local mural artist Dan Burgevin, Karen Burmese teens designed and painted a mural at the corner of Seneca and Geneva streets depicting their families’ journeys as refugees from Burma.

The mural’s three panels tell the story of the Karen people as they escaped genocide in Burma, also known as Myanmar.

The idea for the mural came at a camping retreat through Primitive Pursuits at Arnot Forest. As part of the Diversity and Inclusion workshop, the Karen children and teenagers began talking about their experience.

Burmese refugees first began arriving in Ithaca in 2006, and some of the teenagers have been involved with 4-H Urban Outreach for 12 years.