Immigrant Heritage Month 2022: Butterfly Stories

Exhibit featured 1,000+ butterflies on the 2nd and 3rd floors of Boston City Hall

Butterflies to the right of a Visitor sign on the 3rd floor of Boston City Hall

The butterfly is often a symbol of migration. For Immigrant Heritage Month in June of 2022, the City of Boston Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement invited Boston Public School students to decorate butterflies to celebrate their cultures and personal stories. More than a thousand students from K-12 submitted these butterflies. By hanging them in City Hall, this exhibit reminded people that they belong here and can take pride in their identities.

Student decorating butterflies for Immigrant Heritage Month

In June 2022, participating teachers shared a story about migration to inspire students to consider their own stories. The students could then decorate butterflies to the suggested prompts, "How have your experiences impacted you?" and "What does your family's story mean to you?" More than a thousand students submitted butterflies. We hung them on the 2nd and 3rd floors of City Hall through the summer until early October of 2022.

Students decorating butterflies for Immigrant Heritage Month

On Saturday, October 1, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there was an Open House for the students and families to see their butterflies and take pictures. The Open House also had snacks, free COVID-19 test kits, and an opportunity to get COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Student smiling and holding up a decorated butterfly for Immigrant Heritage Month

Find more pictures on social media @BOSimmigrants on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can learn more about the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement at and sign up for the weekly newsletter. The department advocates for immigrants, offers Free Immigration Consultations, and has several programs aimed at equity and belonging. 

Butterfly decorated with the Vietnam flag and an arrow to the USA. The butterfly also has pink shavings on a wing and a green and black body.

Special thanks to the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, Boston Public Schools, BPS Arts Office, and the BPS Office of Multilingual and Multicultural Education for their partnership on this exhibit. We'd also like to thank the students for sharing their stories and all our BPS teachers, without whom this would not be possible. 

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    Immigrant Advancement
    BOSTON, MA 02201-2030
  • Butterfly Stories Open House

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