Many of you would probably agree with me when I say that this is a wonderful time of year. We all have our reasons, but mine in particular is that brilliant thing called giving. We should do it all year round. There’s something particularly fantastic about seeing a smile on someone’s face, or knowing that you filled a heart with joy, even for just a moment. That’s exactly why I love working for a nonprofit and why the charitable events and immersions are so dear to me. Sharing the arts has always been a dream of mine and this is a great time of year to do that as well! Here are two great events that I just love…
Middle School Immersion
Last month, the Sedona Arts Center coordinated a Native American cultural immersion at West Sedona Middle School and Big Park Community School. I was particularly excited about this because my daughter was able to participate this year, and she loved it! For many years the Sedona Arts Center has brought a cultural outreach program to middle-school students at West Sedona School and this year they expanded to the Village of Oak Creek. These curriculum-related programs are designed to give students a direct experience of another time, place or culture through art and the engagement of all the senses.
During the immersion, students worked with Navajo weaver Mae Peshlakai, learning the mathematics and patience required to create even the smallest of weavings. Elder James Peshlakai taught the Navajo Butterfly Dance and Eagle Dance as part of the Navajo creation story and Char Kruger related the importance of the Navajo culture, and then led the students in the hands-on production of corn mush using a traditional stone grinder. Representing the Yavapai Tribe was Frieda Eswonia, Gertrude Smith and Reba Franco. On day one, Frieda led students through “Naming and Stories,” in which they learned the Yavapai names and pronunciations for various rock formations in the area, including Montezuma’s Well, which is the birthplace of the Yavapai Tribe. On day two, Gertrude and Reba guided the students in creating their own medicine pouches.
Overall, there were four days of cultural immersion at the schools and a reception at Sedona Arts Center, where parents and students came to hear the presenters from both tribes discuss their process. There were demonstrations and absolutely brilliant words spoken during the reception. I’m grateful that my daughter and all the other children were able to participate in this great event!
You don’t want to miss this fundraiser on Saturday, December 14, 2013 1-4 p.m. at the Sedona Arts Center’s Special Exhibition Gallery and Theater Classroom. I love this event; because I get to see the volunteers come in once a week throughout the year, to create the bowls. This year they made over 1000 bowls! The proceeds benefit the Sedona Food Bank, the Sedona Community Center and the educational programs of the Sedona Arts Center. Best part? The bowls are $10 each and come with chili, bread and desert!
So it’s all about giving back to the community and sharing with our children the culture and art that we love. You can’t beat that! But that’s just the beginning of the giving season. Check back next week for some fun and creative holiday art projects that are sure to spread some joy with the whole family!
“Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.”