Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Living Histories Newsletter

As Living Histories prepares to embark into our 12th school year, we wanted to fill you in on some of the highlights from 09/10, and let you know what we’ll be presenting for 10/11!


We were excited to return to Longfellow Elementary again last year, a school that is close to our hearts and one we have been serving students at for nearly ten years now. We also presenting programming at Hamilton Elementary, a new school site for us but one that welcomed us with open arms!

At both sites, our young students embarked in a curriculum that taught them about the connection between community and ecology, developed their creativity and critical thinking skills, exposed them to art and art techniques from around the world, incorporating journaling, and got them writing creatively nearly every class session!

Below are just a few of the highlights of our work from last year:

Ecosystem mobiles
‘Ecosystem Mobiles’ introduced students to the work of Alexander Calder, and was a hands on project to teach them about the interconnectedness of life in both nature and a community.

Abstract designs
Abstract designs
Building on what they learned about Calder, students then created some beautiful abstract paintings that were inspired by ‘nature shapes’ they found around their own campus.

What is In Your Heart?
What is In Your Heart?
"What is in your heart" project
"What is in your heart" project
Students took part in a public art project where participants were asked to answer the question ‘what is in your heart’ with writing or drawing - it was also a great lesson on the differences between ‘literal’ and ‘figurative’! Their work was featured in a gallery in Santa Monica with all of the other participants.

Self portrait project
Picasso Portraits
Picasso Portraits
Self portraits made by manipulating copies of photographs

Starting seeds
Growing seeds and doing projects connected to our ‘window’ gardens was another popular project!

You might have seen some of their work at the Starbucks on Washington and Lake, which generously allowed us to showcase some of our student work there this past spring. We hope to have more work up once the fall semester begins!


On the high school front, we joined up with Marshall Fundamental for their last quarter, working with students in a digital arts class.

Students used Living Histories cameras to create photographs and video, and learned to use programs like Photoshop and iMovie to create finished products that showcased their school, their personal lives, their friends, etc.

You can check out some of their work here: http://eagleediting.blogspot.com/

A video they created with Living Histories teacher and filmmaker Lori Hope can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nlLQZPemPU

We also formed a new partnership with CHAMPIONS: Adventure, After School and Sports Program and Green Dot charter schools, working at Amino Justice and Amino Bunche with high school students. Though we were only with the students for a short few weeks, the class was incredible; taught as a college art course would be, students examined the work of professional and amateur photographers from the standpoint of self expression, and then set out to create their own work. Like all of our courses, students also kept a journal and incorporated writing, drawing and collage into their work.


Their efforts cumulated into a art exhibit held at a local Starbucks that donated wall space; students helped to display the work, getting hands on experiences as curators, and hosted visitors at the grand opening on a Saturday evening. It was an amazing experience - we are so proud of our students!

Check out the Amino blog, including detailed info on the art exhibit, here:

More student photography can be found here:


To view and download our elementary, high school, and middle school programming for the 10/11 school year, visit our website:


We are still accepting new sites for the 10/11 school year and would love to discuss new partnerships! Email us for more information!

Want to see more? Visit the rest of our blog for more updates from last year:

A big thanks to PUSD LEARNs, Champions, Green Dot and our site coordinators: Marie, Mary, Jack, and Leon for all of their support and help in 09/10!

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