The children’s mask making art program attracted the attention of the Natural Resources Partnership for Youth Achievement (NRPYA), a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, providing education and career awareness for inner city youth. As a teaching artist with a background in social work, I was invited to participate as a collaborative partner with NRPYA. From 1997 through 2004, Masks: The World in Me art education program was presented in numerous Los Angeles Unified School District math and science classrooms, at the 3rd, 6th, and 10th grade levels. Then and now the program encourages students to explore mask making as a way to understand how our communities are an integral part of the earth’s ecosystems. The students’ masks and personal statements are creative expressions of their relationship with the environment.
In 1999, I organized an exhibition of sixty eight students’ masks at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The exhibit reached 89,000 visitors over its four months of installation. To see the featured article on the “Arts for All” website, please click here .
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