KID CITY's Week at Weaver!

Hello KID CITY Friends! 

Gaosong here with this week's blog! I am so sorry I missed you all last week. I was extremely busy because KID CITY was teaching at Weaver Elementary all last week! 

Yes! Everyday for 5 days, KID CITY Artists taught 4 different classes! Totaling 20 sessions! Every single day the artists taught from 12:30-3:30 pm and WE HAD SO MUCH FUN! 

Even with such a short amount of time, and a lot to accomplish, I feel the art we created and connections we made will inspire all the students for a lifetime!

The two residencies we did at Weaver included (1) Videography and (2) My City Park Proposal. 

The Videography program was designed for the 5th graders in the "Leader In Me Program." For 5 days, during their lunch period, the group of 12 students met the teaching artists in a classroom. Here, they learned the fundamentals of videography using IPADS, such as storyboarding, frame composition and lighting. As well as the fundamentals of video editing with IMovie: sound/audio, trimming, text and titles. 

Most importantly though, the Videographers learned how to tell their own stories and tell the stories of others, like a documentary! 

This whole residency was very hands on, with specific prompts that asked the students to film, direct and operate the camera within 5-10 mins and then edit the videos right afterwards. 

Each group consisted of 3-4 students and had the opportunity to work with their very own teaching artists for the duration of the residency. 

The end goal of this residency was to have the 5th grade students go in, film and edit the forth graders City Park Proposals.

And boy! Did they do a great job! Since each group had 3-4 students, every time a new proposal came onto the set, the videographers got a chance to switch roles; Director, Cinematographer (2), Camera Operator. The final day of the residency, the videographers had the opportunity to edit 1 of the videos, which was later on presented to the 4th graders!

It was extremely important for KID CITY to challenge the students and to set realistic goals for them to achieve. Within 5 days, these 12 students went from never have filmed anything, to learning how to plan a video by storyboarding, filming an entire performance, editing videos and having a well-made finished product. The KID CITY Artists could not be more proud of them and their work! 

Let's move on to the 4th grade residency! 

"My City Park Proposal" was a residency done with 3 different forth grade classes. Each class had 4 groups, totaling 12 proposals for different City Parks all around Maplewood. 

The challenge for the 4th graders was to see how they could use ART to bring people together in the Parks. 

 The four main parks we focused on were: Wakefield Park, Geranium Park, Joy Park and Applewood Park. With only 5 days to create a proposal, design our Toy Theaters, film and watch the finished product, there was no time to waste! 

Every group had different ideas for their park. Some wanted to have statues that celebrated children and diversity. Some had practical ideas, like adding in water fountains, 1 for adults and 1 for kids. Others wanted to build a unicorn roller coaster. One group even proposed having a library, in a tree house, so she and others could read their favorite books at the park! 

Excuse me. But WHO WOULD SAY NO TO A TREE HOUSE AND A LIBRARY AT THE PARK! I would love any of those options, but the both of them together are perfect! 

It was such a pleasure to see how the students worked together to discuss barriers within the community, but also how we can bring people together using art in public spaces. I am sure the other teaching artists can attest to this, but I saw many of my students from each class blossoming over the 5 day residency. 

 A special thank you note from one of the students from Ms. Her's class. 

A special thank you note from one of the students from Ms. Her's class. 

Even if the students cannot see or feel the impact art can have on community building in Maplewood, I hope they can see how our few short days together, making art and innovating ways to create a better Maplewood, has built a stronger community within their own classrooms.

A huge thank you to all the staff, students and Principle Xiong from Weaver! It would not have been possible without all of you!

To see more videos from the residency, click on this link HERE!

Till next week! 

Enjoy this beautiful Spring Friday!