Santa Fe Youth participate in Flamenco, Guitar, Percussion and Poetry
Click to see large.
Fifteen students between ages 9 through 12 participated in this year’s two-week summer arts workshop. The workshop took place at our studios at Academy at Larragoite, where young participants enjoyed a variety of classes in Flamenco Dance, Flamenco Guitar, Percussion and Poetry (a first!). Another twenty students participated in a two-week flamenco intensive workshop for kids. Students were selected through the Santa Fe Public Schools as well
as the Boys and Girls Club. The workshop culminated
in a performance with an audience of 100 at the Alto Street Boys and Girls Club where students showed off
the skills and talents they had developed in the two weeks. At the performance, participants danced flamenco pieces, played instruments and closed with an emotive poetry reading.
Students in Flamenco class with instructor Benigna Sanchez
Brianna Garcia working on her seasons Haiku. After the workshop Brianna (and friend Marian Juarez) joined our year round Flamenco classes.
Students wrote haiku poems outdoors with sidewalk chalk.
Miranda Merklein, Poetry Instructor.
The students learned how much freedom they have in creative writing as opposed to academic writing, and I found that they had so many ideas and emotions that needed to be expressed artistically. There was so much bottled inside every student, and it needed to be expressed. This proves the necessity of poetry in my opinion, in addition to the other arts. They were so brave in confronting and revealing heavy themes and experiences, which led to a sense of relief and comfort for them, and this took a lot a guts and the acceptance of vulnerability. The students really put their hearts and souls into their poetry.
-Miranda Merklein, Ph. D, Poetry Instructor
Click a student's name to see their picture and one of their poems:
Thank you for making this possible!
Lunch was provided in part by the Santa Fe Public Schools Nutrition program.
Percussion Instruments were provided by the music program director at Acequia Madre Elementary.
Our friends from the Boys and Girls Club (Alto St.) collaborated with us to select students for the program.
The workshop culminated in a final community performance at the Boys and Girls Club on Alto Street.
Thanks to New Mexio New Options and Innovate + Educate, the Institute for Spanish Arts was able to receive additional funds that have made it possible to hire youth to provide additional support during the summer season and particularly for the 2012 Explore the Spanish Arts Summer Kids Workshop. Among the young hires thus far are Workshop Poetry Class Assistant, Anton Terrell, Summer Workshop Aide Janet Angulo, and Archival Assistant Rose Leitner. These young hires were asked to take the WorkKeys® Assessment System which is a comprehensive system for measuring, communicating and improving the common skills required for success in the workplace. It allows these skills to be quantitatively assessed in both individual persons and in actual jobs. It allows organizations to identify individuals who have the basic skills required to be successful in a given position or career. New hires submitted their above average scores to our office during the hiring process, an important step to being considered to fill these summer positions. The Institute is very pleased to have taken advantage of this system!
Anton Terrell: Poetry Class Assistant
Anton Terrell, 20, is an undergrad student and a Santa Fe native. He is working to provide support to instructor Dr. Miranda Merklein in the Workshop Poetry Class. Anton studies psychology and social sciences in Albuquerque at the University of New Mexico. His first job was writing for and contributiing to Generation Next, the teen page of the Santa Fe New Mexican. He loves writing, acting, poetry, art, music, riding his bike and walking his dog Rocco. Anton is pleased to have the opportunity to work, play and learn at the Institute for Spanish Arts this summer. He is also looking forward to studying abroad next semester at VU in the Netherlands.
Janet Angulo: Summer Workshop Aide
Janet Angulo,16, is an upcoming high school junior at Atrisco Heritage Academy (AHA) in Albuquerque. She is working as a Workshop Aide for the 2012 Youth Summer Workshop. She had previously volunteered several hours at the Institute for Spanish Arts and is an avid fan of ISA flamenco shows. Janet enjoys learning about new cultures and loves to travel. She has a strong passion for all types of art, especially music. From "classic" to classical, Janet has a unique ear, she began playing piano at age 8 and currently plays for both the AHA band and orchestra. Aside from her interest in the arts, Janet believes in a balanced and active lifestyle and has enjoyed playing soccer since the age of 4. In 2014 she hopes to graduate from high school and go on to study Liberal Arts in college.
Rose Leitner: Archival Assistant
Rose Leitner, 22, is a senior at Stanford University and will be completing her BA in Psychology this December. She is a Chimayó native who has attended the Maria Benitez flamenco workshops since she was 8 years old, and brought her love of the dance with her to Stanford in co-founding the group "Flamenco Cardenal." She has previously worked at ISA as an office assistant and this summer will fill the role of archival assistant to Maria Benitez. Along with dance and research, Rose also enjoys painting "Retablos," a traditional New Mexican and Spanish Colonial art form depicting religious scenes and saints. She displays her art annually in the Spanish Market at the Santa Fe Plaza. After earning her degree, she is exploring the possibility of Neuroscience research and continuing her pursuits in dance and painting.
It has been a gloriously busy summer for us as we sponsored a week-long adult workshop with former company members Antonio Granjero, Estefania Ramirez, and Domino Martinez. Additionally, Flamenco's Next Generation completed their yearly summer season performances at the Lodge, and we also sponsored a two-week workshop for under-privileged youth who were selected from the Santa Fe Boys & Girls Club.
Click to see 2011 Youth Performance or Youth Workshop Photos
2011 Explore the Spanish Arts Youth Workshop Recap
The workshop took place at Larragoite Elementary, our wonderful new home. It presented the opportunity for underserved children of the Santa Fe community to participate in a two-week workshop offering five courses: Painting, Percussion, Flamenco Dance, Flamenco Guitar and Theater. Approximately 22 children, ages 6-12 were selected to participate in the workshop, each receiving a $450 scholarship.
In course assessments from the seven instructors, the general consensus was that students were able to connect with the courses on an individual level. Painting instructor Francisco Benitez had the students focus on painting and drawing expression through narratives and various self-portraits. Benitez wrote in his assessment “The purpose of doing portraits and narratives is to have the children find a voice of self-expression, and gain a sense of empowerment. Interestingly enough, the girls have an easier time representing their lives and identities than the boys. The boys are more concerned with characters or narratives which they have absorbed from TV or Mangas, but nonetheless represent their reality, albeit, less direct. In the end, I believe the class was successful and instilled what Kandinsky coined, “the inner need to produce art”.
In the Percussion course with Jeff Sussman, students were introduced to basic rhythms, composed of quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets and sixteenth notes, through clapping and percussion instruments, in this case, dum beks and tambourines. The Theater workshop's goal was to create a short bi-lingual play. The sub-goals of the project were to work as a team, to build self-confidence and to have a positive experience. Students played characters from an adapted folk tale entitled “How The Chameleon Got Its Colors.”
Having no previous dance experience, students in flamenco classes learned the 4/8 count flamenco rhythm Tangos that was successfully performed at the Boys & Girls Club. Instructors Emmy Grimm and Miquela Sanchez Wiegel (both members of ISA's youth company Flamenco's Next Generation) felt the success of the course was reflected in the fact that many of the dance students wish to continue classes with ISA throughout the year.
Flamenco guitar is indeed difficult as besides acquiring the arduous technique (which takes years of study) one must also be completely familiar with the particular flamenco rhythms, nevertheless, the class was able to strum (rasgueados) through a simple flamenco Tangos.
The workshop culminated in a community performance at The Boys and Girls Club where workshop students got to show off what they had learned in the two-week intensive. Theater instructor, Kathryn Mark, expressed that “students were excited by the experience, and those who did the entire program had a good time. Additionally, one student wrote a song that was performed as a finale with the cast.” See performance pictures
All in all... a wonderful summer workshop!