Detroit Latinos: How We Got Here, How We Live Here
$12,000 • Detroit
In “Detroit Latinos: How We Got Here, How We Live Here,” 5th graders at Clippert Academy in Southwest Detroit had the opportunity to explore their racial and cultural identities through an engagement with the history of immigration to Southwest Detroit. Students looked at immigration from 1915 to the present day, focusing on the challenges that immigrants face when they arrive in a new city and a new culture. Students considered the various ways that families have sought to meet those challenges, working to keep elements of their original cultural identity, even as they adopt new customs and practices.
The 5th graders participated in a digital photography social studies project facilitated by Lisa Luevanos, a Living Arts Teaching Artist, who was in residence from January to May 2016. Students were invited to take their own pictures and examine their personal, community, and cultural identities through their photography. Some of their photographs are available on the Detroit Latinos blog.
During Luevanos’ artist residency, Sacramento Knoxx and Christy Bieber, both of whom are digital media artists and musicians in Detroit, visited Clippert Academy. They spent time with Ms. Howland-Bolton’s 5th grade class, sharing their own families’ histories in Canada and Detroit with the students. Their visit was especially focused on presenting Native culture: they told stories using drums and their Native language, sang Native songs, and shared a medicine wheel. As a result of this visit, the 5th graders learned about the importance of preserving native cultures.
During their visit, the artists engaged with Ms. Howland-Bolton’s 5th Grade class as part of Lisa Luevanos’ artist residency which took place January-May 2016. This visit focused on a cultural presentation of Native culture.
Knoxx and Bieber shared the history of their families in Canada and Detroit with the students. Additionally, they sang a Native song, presented a story of native culture using drums and speaking the language, and shared a medicine wheel. By doing so, the 5th graders were able to gain a better understanding of the importance of the preservation of native cultures.
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