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Culture and Community

Artwork by Cesar Chavez Charter School students at Arts Alive through March 31.

Visit the Arts Alive building located at 1 North Calle Cesar Chavez, and you’ll find yourself immediately drawn to the vibrant artwork lining the walls of a long hallway. Every student from Cesar Chavez Charter School (CCCS), grades K-6, has produced a work of art for this show, yielding a total of 250 different pieces.

For the third year in a row, an anonymous donor has made it possible for CCCS students to engage in art activities. As part of this year’s art program, the students did more than create visual art; they also had special activities including enjoying cuisine and listening to music from other cultures. In an era when art programs across the country are dwindling into non-existence, a complete cultural immersion program like this one is a rare and valuable education for school children.

“We feel so blessed to have this in our school,” said Nicola Ghersen, one of the main art teachers in the program, “because art is being cut from so many schools.”

Among the pieces displayed in the exhibit are works from Mrs. Kannaglou’s Kindergarten “Butterflies” project. Watercolors and oil pastels in pale blues, pinks, and yellows make for a peaceful, impressionistic feel. The second graders from Mr. Maciose’s class created striking “Andy Warhol Self-Portraits” with scratch foam, printing ink, and tempera paint. Also memorable is the showcase of “Mexican Folk Art Hearts,” produced by Mrs. Patterson’s fourth grade class. Students used wood, acrylic paint, bottle caps, nails, paper m•che, and Loter-a cards.

Cesar Chavez Charter School’s mission is “To develop bi-literate, bi-cultural students whose strong academic and cultural foundation prepares them to meaningfully participate in their families, their community, and their world.” This delightful exhibit indicates a school well on its way to achieving its worthy goal.

If you would like to support the Cesar Chavez Charter School Art Program contact Nicola Ghersen at nicolag805@excite.com or Franny Taran at frangogo@yahoo.com.

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