Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cape Verdean Blues 2

from 4/19/06 from pseudo-intellectualism "We all have stories about our families and how they came to America. While each of us reflects our individual culture, we share a common bond. Almost everyone living in Rhode Island has family roots in another country. Each group has experienced being new and different and all have brought customs, objects and perspectives that continue to enrich American life. Coming to Rhode Island celebrates the cultural diversity of the Ocean State. In the exhibit's four story galleries, visitors discover the stories of actual people who immigrated to Rhode Island. The galleries are set in their historical context from an English colonist's farm to a Latino bodega in the 1960s. Hands-on activities bring the stories to life. Children climb aboard a replica packet ship to learn about the voyage from the Cape Verde islands and "work" in a simulated 19th century textile mill to understand the life of a French Canadian mill worker in northern Rhode Island.

The exhibit culminates in the Story Center where families find their ancestral lands on a huge globe and tell their immigration stories using magnetic strips of words. Children choose from an assortment of books and activity kits, playing Colonial games of chance and weaving baskets in a variety of traditions. In addition, a video introduces the descendents of the historical immigrants, all of whom are children living in Rhode Island now. The descendent children are the hosts of history hunt, challenging visitors to look for clues as to why their forebears came to America, what they brought, how they changed and what they left behind. Coming to Rhode Island is recommended for children age 7 and up and their adult friends for maximum understanding. Younger children also enjoy pretending in the exhibit's historical environments. Exhibit educators are on hand to encourage fun and learning." This is a great exhibit. I saw it two years ago and immediately thought of trying to recreate a facsimile back in NYC for the PS20 Learning Fair. We had the talent with Sam (the man who could have kids build anything from refrigerator boxes) Zilberzweig and Iris Kufert, the one of the best art teachers in the city. But alas, Iris and I are gone and the hitman (woman) will get Sam soon. Anyway I was back in Providence last week and revisited while babysitting my nephew Ben-actually my daughter Emma did that while I was taking pictures and recording sound segments. Here's a segment of the Cape Verdean portion with a taste of Horace Silver's famous song.


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