Art for the People Program: Mural Painting & World Beats (Ethnic Dance and Drum)
Oakland International High School, North Oakland (2008 and 2010)
This program consisted of two components: conception and execution of a large school mural, and a performance workshop taught by local professional dance and drum artists. Grades 9 -12 students worked together under the supervision of a Teaching Artist to participate in the decision-making around what would go into a final 50-foot mural at the school. Students selected the topic of “Global Warming” as the theme, and created PowerPoint© presentations including narratives and photos, which described various aspects of the causes and effects of global warming. The students designed, gridded, and painted the 50 X 15 foot mural covering a good portion of the building exterior on Webster Street. In World Beats, students learned about the cultures of the people of the dances, and discussed the history of the dance with Guest Artists. This process promoted more language interaction, cultural awareness, and bonding. The final performance included West African dance from Guinea, Capoiera, Bomba dance and drum from Puerto Rico, Aztec dance from Mexico, and BeatBoy/Break from America.