Lots of interesting events are going on in DC this weekend — so stick to that resolution to introduce your kids to one new cultural event every month and check out something a little different for the weekend.
Tales from Mother Africa
“Tales from Mother Africa” at the S. Dillion Ripley Center’s Discovery Theater showcases Poetry by Kenyan Anna Mwalagho
Step Afrika! performs on Friday and Saturday at Sidney Harman Hall
Crepe Day at Hillwood is on Saturday — Breton dancing, hat making, French stories & crepes!
The National Gallery of Art hosts National Gallery Asteria concert — take the kids to see medieval songs and a demonstration of the instruments used during that era.
Have fun exploring!
Check out a new post by our friends over at Kid Culture. They have a great list of “10 Things Kids Should Know About Diwali” and she’s also included recipes to help you celebrate. Thanks KidCulture and Happy Diwali!
Hey D.C. — it’s that time of year again. I love the Kids Euro Festival. Twenty-seven European Union countries and their embassies open their doors to showcase the best European productions for kids. With over 150 performances to see over the next month….you can’t go wrong in introducing a new culture to your kids. There are puppeteers from Finland, clowns from Estonia, cartoons from Poland, music from Sweden. Last year I took the boys to see a few different events – mimes from France were by far their favorite and a comical play from Cyprus was a hit as well. Not only are the performances/films fun but it also presents a great opportunity to check out places you’ve always wanted to see. The Goethe Institute, French Embassy, House of Sweden, Shakespeare Theatre, Artisphere and others. Venues also include the Kennedy Center, local libraries, embassies and schools. For a complete schedule of events click here. All events are free and many don’t even require reservations.
Today I learned of two innovative organizations whose work brings students, schools and teachers closer via the internet and social networking. Today’s students are talking to each other instantly with Skype, working on projects jointly and giving new meaning to the words “international collaboration”. I’m thrilled that young children around the world can connect instantaneously and that school curriculum can be enhanced exponentially. With iEARN, over 2 million students are engaged collaboratively every day.
If you have a chance please check out iEARN and Connect All Schools and see if your school can participate. As iEARN states..students are “Learning with the world, not just about it…”
It’s not too late to catch a few shows at the Kennedy Center showcasing China: The Art of a Nation. Between now and the end of October you can still catch the Northern Kunqu Opera, the Beijing People’s Art Theatre and the Beijing Dance Theatre. For younger kids there’s also the outdoor exhibition by leading Chinese contemporary artists. I took the kids to the MaximIndia Festival back in March and was amazed at the exhibits showcasing culture and art. If you get the chance, it’s definitely worth an evening visit and you can even grab a quick dinner in the Cafe!
James Mollison took poignant photographs depicting children around the world and where they sleep. I encourage you to share these photos with your children and talk about our differences as well as similarities–our rooms/environment and the things that reflect our spirit and our lives. Even in the United States the differences in children’s lives are depicted, not only in their portraits, but in their rooms. I’m transfixed by the images of the boys from Nepal and Kenya as well as the young geisha in-training in Japan. If you’re up for it, take a portrait of your own child in their room and talk about what is similar in their lives and what is vastly different to those captured in this article. It’s a way to make this global world of ours a little smaller and every child understands the concept of where someone sleeps. For the full article click here.
Well you’d think we lived in the rainforest given the amount of rain we’ve had in DC this past week. There’s definitely not a shortage of puddles for kids to splash in. Unfortunately, we have some great cultural festivals coming up this weekend that could be rained out if it doesn’t clear up fast! The famous Adam’s Morgan Day Festival is on Sunday, September 11th. Straddling Adam’s Morgan and Columbia Heights the festival showcases cultural music, dance and food from Central and South America. (Columbia Heights Day was rained out this year due to Hurricane Irene) The street fair has been a mainstay on the DC festival circuit since 1978 and if the rain lets up at all, I highly recommend it. The festival tagline is “A Global Community of Cultures. Celebrate together, not separately!” See the Bolivian dancers, sample Latin American cuisine and look at art from around the world. Sounds like exactly what our kids need after a rainy week. The festival runs from noon – 7 pm (18th Street & Columbia Road) so get out and explore!
I love art…musuems, galleries, art projects, you get it. Although our local elementary school has a strong art program and my boys occasionally come home talking about Mondrian lines or Arcimboldo, I still feel a need to supplement their once-a-week sessions at school. I love the concept of the book “A Year in Art” by Christiane Weidemann. Every day there is a new picture or activity to look at with your child. It only takes five minutes but they gain an understanding of masterpieces, artists and most importantly, how something appeals to them – a vocabulary to discuss artistic works. Since my kids are not as interested in busting out the paints or creating masterpieces, talking about a picture for a few minutes a day has helped them create their own art world. Who knows what they’re secretly filing away for future projects – maybe I’ll even start to see something that doesn’t have a pirate, a castle or a rocket ship in it and if I’m absolutely honest, there are far too many weapons in their current artwork. But it’s their work and I can only let them express their inspirations. What are your favorite art books?
A Year in Art
Around our house there are endless battles between Batman, Spider-man and Superman. Their super powers come to life as my four-year-old leaps around the house and my six-year-old tries to tackle him. I am amazed by their improvisation and creativity. And as much as I love the fact that my boys recreate what I fondly remember doing at their same age, I’d love to see them incorporate some diversity into their super power status. Welcome Multi-cultural Spider-man! Miles Morales is the new superhero on the block. He’s half-black, half-Hispanic and a teenager. This is Marvel Comics effort to keep up with our changing society and I applaud them although this step probably should have been taken ages ago. I plan to ensure that my kids read all about Miles and his masked capers. It’ll help them see the world a little differently. Does anyone have a favorite superhero outside our traditional American favorites?
DC Shorts film festival takes place September 8-18th– with films from 23 countries! The festival has won accolades as one of the leading festivals in the country. So find something kid-friendly and introduce your family to something other than Disney. And for those of you who like not only a great film but a fun party, the DC Shorts Film Festival is throwing a Brazilian Carnival Saturday night at 9 pm. A tribute to Brazil’s pop movement from the 1960′s , the all-female drum group Batala, and Brazilian jazz will all be featured! Sounds like something you don’t want to miss.