Arts and Cultural Ancestry

by Fatima Said | Mar 08, 2012
| 1 Comment

Summary:

Regardless of ethnicity, religion, or country of origin, we all have a desire to share our story. This story is depicted in many ways – verbal traditions, markings on cave walls, in the folds of a fan, carved on animal skins, embroidered on cloth. Telling our story through art allows us to communicate our lives and desires to future generations.
This project is designed to build bridges between cultures through the creation of traditional arts from around the world. The project is a series of learning workshops led by immigrants and refugees about the handcrafts and traditions of their homeland. The goal is to provide an opportunity to create traditional art pieces, encourage interaction and sharing among cultural groups, and increase awareness of the history and heritage of community members.
Through an educational, interactive format, this project will foster communication and help build personal relationships across cultures. The project consists of five main workshops, each focusing on a specific culture and art expression. The workshops include a brief presentation about the art form to be learned, a hands-on demonstration and work time. During the work time, participants will have an opportunity to interact and share their life stories. In addition to the workshops, at least ten work sessions will be held to give participants designated time to complete their projects. Refreshments will be provided to encourage participants to linger and begin to form lasting relationships. Project sessions will be open to all community members and materials will be provided free of charge.
The project culminates with an interactive, multimedia capstone event, which will be free and open to the public. Project participants will share their culture and art history with attendees, and art pieces made throughout the course of the project will be on display and available for purchase. There will also be a short program with cultural dances and information.

About You

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About You

First Name

Fatima

Last Name

Said

Country

United States, MN

City

Winona

Innovation

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Title

Arts and Cultural Ancestry

What is your best idea to build bonds and work together across cultures and faiths in your community?

Regardless of ethnicity, religion, or country of origin, we all have a desire to share our story. This story is depicted in many ways – verbal traditions, markings on cave walls, in the folds of a fan, carved on animal skins, embroidered on cloth. Telling our story through art allows us to communicate our lives and desires to future generations.
This project is designed to build bridges between cultures through the creation of traditional arts from around the world. The project is a series of learning workshops led by immigrants and refugees about the handcrafts and traditions of their homeland. The goal is to provide an opportunity to create traditional art pieces, encourage interaction and sharing among cultural groups, and increase awareness of the history and heritage of community members.
Through an educational, interactive format, this project will foster communication and help build personal relationships across cultures. The project consists of five main workshops, each focusing on a specific culture and art expression. The workshops include a brief presentation about the art form to be learned, a hands-on demonstration and work time. During the work time, participants will have an opportunity to interact and share their life stories. In addition to the workshops, at least ten work sessions will be held to give participants designated time to complete their projects. Refreshments will be provided to encourage participants to linger and begin to form lasting relationships. Project sessions will be open to all community members and materials will be provided free of charge.
The project culminates with an interactive, multimedia capstone event, which will be free and open to the public. Project participants will share their culture and art history with attendees, and art pieces made throughout the course of the project will be on display and available for purchase. There will also be a short program with cultural dances and information.

Impact and Sustainability

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How will your idea have a positive impact on your community?

This project will provide both newcomers and established residents in our community with a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures and traditions in an interactive and hands-on setting. Currently, there is no programming like this available in our region and there is high interest. The Cultural Arts and Ancestry project was developed through conversations residents of our community about the value of traditional art and the desire to share our stories. A core group of individuals have been involved in preliminary project planning and will help present for workshops and create pieces to be used at the capstone event. We anticipate that there will be 40 individuals participating in the learning workshops and work sessions.
For many newcomers, language and cultural barriers make it very difficult to interact with others in the community. Isolation is common but through this project, they will have the chance to build relationships in a safe and friendly environment. Both the creation of art and the formation of friendships will have a positive impact on the mental and emotional health of participants. Many potential participants are refugees and have experienced tremendous personal tragedy. For established residents, this project is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our newest neighbors and interact with people of other ethnic backgrounds. By sharing our life experiences and knowledge of the arts, our stories will have renewed meaning and will touch the lives of many.
Currently, I serve as Executive Director of Project FINE, a nonprofit whose mission is to “strengthen and enrich our community by facilitating the integration of people who are ethnically diverse. Project FINE began in 1990 and is very well-equipped to implement this project. We have experience in educational programming for newcomers and tremendous support from partners and individuals in our community.

What do you think the lasting effect will be if your idea is implemented?

The lasting effects of this project will be an increase in cultural understanding and acceptance in our community and beyond. Project participants will benefit greatly, both from learning about other cultures and from sharing about their own. Through the public capstone event, all area residents will be able to learn about and experience the diversity in our region. As part of the capstone, there will be several avenues of cultural sharing including presentations, displays, demonstrations of art and dance, food and interaction between project participants and attendees. We anticipate that over 300 individuals will attend the capstone event.
All project activities will be publicized through local media including press releases, advertisements and promotional materials. As a result, individuals throughout the region will have the opportunity to gain a knowledge and appreciation of diversity and artistic expression. There is also strong community support for this project, with Winona State University serving as a partner for the capstone event and Winona Area Public Schools providing a meeting location for learning workshops and work sessions. Project FINE will continue to search for funding sources for this project, as it is a worthwhile and will have a positive impact on our entire community. Funds raised through the sale of art and concessions at the capstone event will be used to continue the project. We are hoping to secure funding to sustain the project for at least two years in hopes that participants will continue their relationships and creation of art works after that period.

Hi Yeah said: Arts and cultures are one of the important things a certain country must kept and given patronage to. It defines the citizen and the ... about this Competition Entry. - 1949 days ago read more >

Fatima Said updated this Competition Entry. - 2659 days ago

Fatima Said updated this Competition Entry. - 2686 days ago

Fatima Said submitted this idea. - 2686 days ago