Friday, June 17, 2011

Intergenerational Crafting

(Click on a photo to see a larger image.)

In January our arts and crafts instructor, Gitana the Creative Diva, was awarded a grant by the Department of Cultural Affairs to continue the senior crafting program at DSCC. In order to fulfill the grant requirement of community outreach and participation, we partnered with a fourth grade class at PS 119K, The Amersfort School, to create a display for the school's annual global expo.
The focus of study was Kenya, an African country which has, among its many attributes, a thriving floral export industry. Since Dorchester's seniors had already spent some time creating flowers, that was one of the elements we focused on for our crafting experience. The students came to the center and were divided into three groups. One group cut large monstera leaves, others joined the seniors to create chrysanthemums and the third group worked with center director JoAnne Biswakarma to create headbands and bracelets in needlepoint that imitated the ornate beadwork that the Maasai people of Kenya are known for. 25 fourth graders, 8 seniors, and two group facilitators equaled a very hectic atmosphere but to their credit the young students were very well behaved and took instructions well. In an hour and a half we created some beautiful flowers, leaves and needlework.

The following week we visited the students in their classroom to continue the crafting of the display elements. In their own environment the students were much more rambunctious. Nonetheless lots of work was accomplished and the display elements were completed and ready for final assembly. Here you can see a photo of the final display as it appeared on exhibit at the schoolwide global expo on June 14, 2011. All of the elements (with the exception of the photographs and mandated disclaimers) were created by the students with final assembly done by Gitana.

This exhibit is currently on display at the Dorchester Senior Citizens Center through the summer and is available for public viewing. In addition there is a permanent display of the other crafts made by the seniors that is also open to the public. Please call the center at 718-941-6700 for hours of operation and come on by. We'd love to see you.


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