3 Reasons Why Bi-cultural Art Programs are Important

By: Ana Lucia Divins


This summer I was invited to participate as teaching artist in the first bilingual art summer camp offered for a local museum here in Charlotte: The Mint Museum.

It was definitely a learning experience, from researching about the topic (the Mayan creation of the world: Popol Vuh) to learning the dynamics of working with other talented Latino artists combining four different forms of art into a final bilingual performance.

As with any other artistic experiences, I am always amazed by the “gems” I discover. I usually take with me more than what I give.

Working with a group of sixteen bilingual Latino children made me realized how much our children benefit from bi-cultural art programs like this one and I congratulate the Mint Museum for taking this great initiative.

These are 3 reasons why I think bi-cultural art program like this one are important for our children:

  1. The program is designed and delivered by Latino bilingual artists able to act as role models for these bilingual children. Bi-cultural teaching artists, who look like them, speak like them (English, Spanish, Spanglish and some of us with an accent), share some of their experiences, someone they can relate with. Usually in our public school system, they will come across with a few Latino teachers (if any), so this is indeed a unique opportunity.
  2. Culturally relevant content.  The Mayan world creation is a manuscript reflecting part of the Mexican Native American culture. This is topic they may not have the opportunity to learn about in a regular elementary school curriculum.
  3. Children are exposed to a variety of art expressions and artistic styles, all in one program. This is relevant for any children, the opportunity to learn how to express using visual art, spoken words, music, drama and movement is a treasure they will be able to use while exploring any new topics in the future.

Please share any other good reasons why you think that bi-cultural art programs art important for our children.


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