The 2017 Multicultural Arts & Poetry Night at Hockinson Heights Elementary attracted hundreds of community and family members who joined our students and staff to celebrate cultures from around the world.
Attendees used all five senses to experience our students’ artwork, artifacts, foods, music and dance, all of which led to rich conversations among students, teachers, families and community members.
With the help of art teacher Nancy O’Neill, music teachers Megan Miles and Rebekka Ramirez, and HHES classroom teachers, each grade shared art, music, foods and culture from a specific continent:
Africa: Fifth graders created watercolor silhouettes of African landscapes and colorful geometric designs inspired by the Ndebele people, and performed the South African welcome blessing “Bwana Awabariki.”
Asia: Fourth graders used oil pastels to create dragons, made hand-dipped fans and performed “Chanda Mama,” a lullaby from India.
Europe: Third graders used chalk to create artwork inspired by the northern lights and performed “Sla Nanynka,” a folk song from the Czech Republic.
Australia: Second graders used an aboriginal style of dot art in their creations, and painted rocks, drew sea turtles and lizards, and performed the folk song “Kookaburra.”
South America: First graders created a rainforest collage and butterflies, and performed a Brazilian song about the crab—“Caranguejo.”
North America: Kindergartners created clay pots and watercolor paintings of Native American structures, and performed two songs, “Ani Couni,” an Iroquois song, and “Deer Dance,” a game-animal chant from the Ojibwa (Chippewa) Woodlands tribe.
Also during the evening, students shared their favorite poems, and retired Hockinson High art teacher Russ Ford shared his experiences teaching art on a recent month-long trip to Africa.
Multicultural Arts & Poetry Night was made possible by generous grants from PWT and WEA-Riverside, and volunteers from the HHS National Honor Society, families, community members and elementary school students.