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Youth Workshop – I Am Hava. I Am Blue. What Color Are You?

Date(s) - Saturday, June 18th
2:00 pm CDT - 3:30 pm CDT

Milwaukee Public Library - Central Branch


In partnership with Milwaukee Public Library, artist and illustrator Siona Benjamin will engage participants in a reading of I Am Hava: A Song’s Story of Love, Hope & Joy, a book for which she served as the primary illustrator.

Coupled with her reading, Siona will also lead her workshop ‘What Color Are You?’ which begins with Siona’s decision to portray herself as blue in her work. Showing pictures of different colored deities in India, participants are provided paper, paints and a papier-mâché mask, and encouraged to create a self-portrait in the color of their choice. The whole experience is enriching and empowering for anyone still learning what it means to be themselves.

Ideal for young people between ages 8 and 16
Milwaukee Central Library (814 W. Wisconsin Ave.)
Rotary Club of Milwaukee Community Room

All supplies provided. Registration required.

For additional information, email Erin Sloan, Youth Services Librarian, at

In connection with Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, June 17 – September 25, 2022.

About I Am Hava: A Song’s Story of Love, Hope & Joy
Experience the story of the world’s most famous Jewish song… as told by the song herself. In her spare, poetic text, Freda Lewkowicz has personified the song of Hava Nagila and made her the narrator of her own story, known simply as “Hava”. Renowned Indian-American Jewish illustrator Siona Benjamin, who is known for her blue characters, draws Hava as a young blue girl in a sari. Follow Hava as she spreads joy and hope throughout the world. 

About Siona Benjamin
Siona Benjamin has an MFA in painting from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Ill., and an MFA in theater set design from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. She has exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia.

She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011 to India, and a second Fulbright fellowship in 2016-17 to Israel. As not just a Jewish artist but also as one who crosses cultural boundaries, she’s received praise in The New York Times, The Chicago TribuneThe Philadelphia InquirerThe Financial TimesThe Boston GlobeArt in AmericaArt New EnglandArt and AntiquesArtNewsMoment MagazineThe Times of IndiaThe Mumbai MirrorMarg Magazine, and other publications.

Her multicultural art has also been featured in The Jewish Week in New York City and New Jersey, The Jerusalem PostThe Times of Israel, and other publications.

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