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have a conversation about art with Joyce Raimondo

THE AMERICAN DREAM: Art and Immigration

Today I visited Solomon Schechtor School of Manhattan for a workshop exploring American immigration and art. We started by discussing art that tells the story of American immigrants. Rather than imparting facts, we used art as a springboard to explore such questions as, "Even though people in America are from countries from all over the world, what do all Americans share in common? What freedoms do Americans have that people in other countries are denied?" Children then created collages to represent the immigrant experience of a specific nationality. The project was a perfect tie in to their history studies as they are writing papers on immigration. The students' knowledge and insights came to creative fruition in their amazing art.

It was very moving to me how children expressed themselves. Some children depicted the religous freedom Jewish people sought escaping Nazi Germany. One child chose Chinese immigration through Angel Island, illustrating that some Chinese people were sent back to China. My experience with the children today ever reminded me to safe guard and cherish tolerance and respect for each other. Whether in my daily life as I interact with people or addressing current immigration issues that face America, I am reminded to treat all people the way I would want to be treated. To not judge based on superficial differences, but instead celebrate and take an interest each other. Thank you to all of the young artists for your inspiration. Special thanks to teacher, Sarah Kay, and parent, Paula Dagen, for welcoming me to the school.
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