Community BRIDGES Initiative utilizes creativity to address cultural concerns. Together with the Latino Coalition, Safe Passagesand others, this year we brought hands on arts to Dana Grey school, engaging all 375 students, 3rd thru 5th grade, in exploring Latin America traditions in art. Joanna Wiggington, partnering with Anne Harvey, the Latino Advocate for Safe Passages, led the project with the desire to support our hispanic community and children's creativity. Anne and Joanna completed five art projects at Dana Gray school in the 2017-18 school year and worked with the Latino Coalition on community events and youth scholarships.
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Molas from traditions of Ecuador and Panama, explored color, design and space through drawing while Papel Picados from Mexico engaged students in the delicate art of paper cutting. To include all 375 students, each project required at least a weeklong effort and became a school wide-celebration of Hispanic Heritage. The compelling displays in the school hallways, and out at community events was a sourced of pride for the children and parents.
Worry Dolls, from the tradition of Mayan weavers engaged children to share about the worries faced by their families and the hope that the dolls could inspire. Over 1,000 dolls were created as special gifts and tokens of possibility. Installations of the various projects create a visual celebration of Hispanic culture throughout the school and at community events.
Radial Symmetry Designs from the Otomi tradition in the Hidalgo region, East Mexico) This project was completed in December 2017, hung in the hallways briefly and then returned to student for winter break so that these art pieces could be given as gifts to family members. Twenty High School Students in Ukiah attending the court school also completed the radial symmetry project.
A project about migration engaged the students at Dana Gray School as they explored the geography and nature of different kinds of migrations. 3rd graders created Monarch butterflies, 4th graders made barn swallows, and the fifth graders celebrated gray whales. Art work was displayed in the halls and parents stopped in for morning ‘coffee’ to view the work.
Bridging the cultural divides in our community through creativity also meant helping out with community events or supporting youth with scholarships.
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