“I love the global and cultural experience that the residency gives our students.  Most likely, not an experience that they would otherwise receive. I want to keep the LEAF/Pisgah partnership going! Thanks again for this awesome experience with Beny!”
– Principal Jeananne Yates, Pisgah Elementary

Music has the power to transcend geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries and bring people together. Music is a universal language, spoken that even when words cannot express joy, excitement, sadness or connection the sound of a drum; the lyrics of a song; the way the body moves to the rhythm can express our deepest feelings and notions about life. With music, we are all the same because we are human and we share the basic desires for love, happiness, community and connection.  

According to the Developmental Assets Profile, the arts provide a way for kids to connect with cultures in a hands-on way.  All across the Asheville/Western NC community last month, we saw curiosity turn into connection and question marks transform into statements of understanding with our Visiting Teaching Artists. At Estes Elementary, it was the culture of the Inuit people and music of The Jerry Cans as well as the Americana roots of Forlorn Strangers. Over in rural Candler, it was the culture of Colombia and the mind-exploding combination of hand-carved instruments with electronic beats, led by Beny Esguerra at Pisgah Elementary. Back across town on S. French Broad Ave, Feufollet’s Creole culture and the art of gutsy singing in French combined with ragtime filled Asheville Middle. The entire 2nd grade at Claxton Elementary danced and sang “Today’s a New Day” by Kirk Franklin, with Vernon “Budda Budda” Lloyd, infusing gospel culture and a spirit of hope from the music room to the streets of North Asheville. The Broadcast, hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains, brought a unique spin on soul to the students of Fernleaf Charter School. Slam culture, also know as spoken word or poetry to some, ignited new pathways of expression for the middle schoolers at Owen Middle with Graham Hackett in the mix. And just around the corner, students at Black Mountain Academy took music composition, recording and bandstanding to a whole new level with Master Teaching Artist, Nex Millen.  

 

Alongside world-class Teaching Artists, educators, parents, families and community leaders we look forward to furthering our commitment to cultural competency and access world cultures for as many students in Buncombe County as possible. For the Asheville community, we would dare to say that understanding what makes us both unique and the same; leading with a strong commitment to cultural competency; and using equity as our guide is more important than ever. 

ACT ON IT!

In your neighborhood and community: Get to know people who are from a different country or have a different cultural heritage from you. Ask them about their family traditions, celebrations, and other unique aspects of their backgrounds.

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ABOUT THIS POST:

LEAF Schools & Streets measures the results of our work through the surveys given to our students, parents, artists, teachers and program, which are aligned with the Developmental Assets Profile. 78% of youth reported learning about another culture as a result of the LEAF experience.

The IMPACT |Cross Cultural Understanding: The arts provide a way for kids to connect with cultures in a hands-on way. Music has the power to transcend geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries and bring people together.

78% of youth reported learning about another culture as a result of the LEAF experience.

For more information on LEAF Schools & Streets, please email outreach@theLEAF.org