How I Became an Artista

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HOW I BECAME AN ARTISTA: A CULTURAL LITERACY PROGRAM

HOW I BECAME AN ARTISTA: A CULTURAL LITERACY PROGRAM

How I Became an Artista is a cultural literacy program organized by CALA Alliance, Childsplay and ASU Art Museum that introduces elementary students in Metro Phoenix to the life and work of Latino/a and Latin American artists. Through reading, movement and art-making, teaching artists in the visual and performing arts tell the story of how children become artistas who celebrate culture and make new traditions.

Established in 2011, this multi-faceted and interactive program has reached over 8,000 young children in 35 Metro Phoenix Title I elementary schools. Past programs focused on the life and work of Mexican artists Diego Rivera (The Diego Project: 2011-2013) and Frida Kahlo (The Frida Project: 2014-2016), with funding generously provided by the J. W. Kieckhefer Foundation, the Margaret T. Morris Foundation, the Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation and Target.

HOW I BECAME AN ARTISTA: 2017: CELIA CRUZ

In 2017, How I Became an Artista focused on Cuban music legend Celia Cruz. During month-long school residencies in April-May 2017, students in third and fourth grade classrooms participated in the following activities led by Phoenix teaching artists:

  • Reading: Students read the bilingual English/Spanish book My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz by Monica Brown, and get a copy to take home.
  • Critical Thinking: Students learned about the life and work of Celia Cruz through musical/visual presentations and discussion.
  • Movement and Art-Making: Students created visual and movement-based works inspired by the art of Celia Cruz.
  • Celebration: Students exhibited and shared their art in a family-friendly community celebration.