December 11, 2013 - Mulholland Middle School, Los Angeles, CA
Just before the holidays Children Mending Hearts Global Arts After School programs wrapped up the fall semester with final exhibits. On a seasonally chilly evening in December, the CMH team headed to Mulholland Middle School in Van Nuys to help the students show off all the beautiful work they created the last few months in the CMH Global Arts After School classes held this past semester in partnership with the wonderful After School All Stars Los Angeles team. The exhibit was nothing short of inspiring, and the evening was nonstop fun and celebration, with pizza, snacks, and lots of laughter!
All four of our curricula (Fine Arts/Haiti, Photography/Haiti, Textile Arts/Kenya, Anime/Japan) were in full force this semester at Mulholland Middle School. This means lots of kids were exposed to the lessons about empathy and global citizenship in a very specific way they could choose that would keep them engaged in the material! At the exhibit, students of the Photography/Haiti track could point to their insightful photos on the wall, and just under the photos, the Fine Arts/Haiti projects, colorful papier mache Carnivale masks, were displayed on a table. Next to these was a table displaying the bright and playful drawings of Manga characters from the Anime/Japan track, and over by the refreshments was another table showing off the beautiful and expertly crafted bead jewelry made by students in the Textile Arts/Kenya program. Some of the favorites from this semester were the beautiful handcrafted bead bracelets the students made in the Textile Arts Kenya class (shown in the pictures here). It was almost overwhelming and certainly impressive to see just how much the kids did this semester.
Of course, the driving force behind all these projects is the goal of priming these students for a lifetime of belief in themselves and understanding for others. Yes, our programming teaches specific lessons about the culture of another country and guides students in creating art that expresses the lessons they’ve learned. Equally important, however, is the journey the students take toward thinking in a focused way about the people that make up this world they live in - not just their friends, families, or neighbors, but also the people living thousands of miles away, in countries that can seem strange and intangible. These students complete CMH Global Arts programs as new global citizens having learned lessons of empathy for others that will stay with them and inform the way they live and contribute to the world.
Watching the kids at the Mulholland final exhibit interact with each other was heartwarming - there was fun, laughter, and lots of holiday cheer with colorful lights, a visit from Santa, and even a student band! What a tremendous gift it was to see the kids so proud of themselves and so fulfilled. We can’t wait for the next round of students at Mulholland to take our programming to the limit with their talent and joy.
The CMH Team