In 2012 Millcreek Elementary received one of the Utah PTA Art Grants in order to fund a Latin American Arts Festival.
"We wanted to find a way to bring more art into our school and give our students more opportunities to be creative. We decided to try Latin American Art. Each class chose a project from a list that we created of different art forms from Latin America. Then the teacher, along with PTA volunteers carried out the projects in each of the classes. We had such a great variety of projects and it was so exciting to see how interested the students were. We were able to give EVERY student in our school a chance to create some form of art.
"The Kindergarteners sponge-painted toucans; the second graders made some pottery and tin ornaments; the third graders made maracas out of recycled bottles; the fifth graders painted Frida Kahlo-esque self-portraits and so on. We had our kiln going more than it ever had before.
"Once the projects were done we had a Latin American Arts Festival to celebrate the work of the students. All the art was on display in the hallway so that families could wander around the school and see the different projects. The students were so excited to show their artwork to their friends and parents. We also had a few art projects going on the night of our arts festival. Families could make tissue flowers, weave with recycled t-shirt, and create a mural. We had our Dual Immersion classes and our choir perform in Spanish and we had the first graders perform a special Latin dance. The night ended with chips and salsa and churros along with horchata and mango juice so that people could spend some time mingling and enjoying the atmosphere. It was such a great night!
"We felt like it was a great way to bring our school community together and a great way to get people excited about art. We are so happy that we did this and that the Utah PTA provided the means for us to get this done!"
Photos by Wanja Anderson