SAVANNAH, GA. – July 29, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum is looking forward to hosting three engaging workshops to round out its educational summer programming.
The first event, “2020-2021 What’s on Your Mind?”, is a visual storytelling workshop for children (ages 6 and older) as they prepare to return to school. It is a platform to creatively express their thoughts about their experiences of the past 16 months — what was good and challenging about it and how they see the future. Due to its popularity and a high response rate, this workshop will be held twice on Saturday, July 31, in the museum’s garden at 201 E. 37th St. in Savannah. The first session is from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and the second session is from 1-2:30 p.m.
This workshop is a spinoff from SAAM’s favorably responded to the “Healing” Storytelling May workshop and Juneteenth Celebration Storytelling Experience. Facilitator Kat Robertson returns this Saturday to guide young workshop participants in coming up with a word that adheres to their thoughts, then creating a visual for the word they choose using paint, markers, fabric, magazine clippings, and other artistic materials. Next, each child will be asked to create a movement and a sound for their chosen word. Robertson will then take each child’s word and compose a collective story, which will be read with each child participating by presenting their created image, sound, and movement.
There are Savannah-Chatham County Public School System educators who are very supportive of the workshops.
“Storytelling is just that – telling one’s story and his/her account of events that occur in his/her life on a day-to-day basis. Storytelling is a very important part of who we are as historians/herstorians. Everyone has a story to tell. Storytelling allows everyone to participate because everyone accounts for events differently. However, when we tell our stories, all parties can look through the lens of people and see different perspectives as it relates to historical accounts. Storytelling is the fabric of our lives. It is what makes us American. It is what binds us together,” said Valentina Quarterman, a social studies secondary teacher specialist at Savannah Arts Academy.
The second workshop, “2020-2021 What’s on Your Mind? – Chapter 2”, continues the storytelling theme, but this time with parents/guardians and educators. It is set for 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, also in the museum’s garden. Robertson will give the parents/guardians and educators a platform to also express the same asked of the children and follow the same creative process to express their word with an image, then with a movement and a sound. Robertson will also take each participant’s word and compose a collective story.
Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson says, “The goal of both workshops is to provide a bridge to understanding how we all have been impacted and she hopes that continuing this open narrative with each other may be helpful in moving forward as a community (locally and beyond).”
Rosemary Dodson, SCCPSS’s visual arts program coordinator says, “The workshops offered by SAAM will offer a unique opportunity for children, parents, and teachers to have their voice heard about their experiences over the past 16 months and their vision as we move forward as a community. Incorporating visual art, movement, sound, and words creates an immersive collaboration environment that highlights the experiences of each member while simultaneously showing the connections between the individuals and the group. Healing happens in this setting because the participants can learn how their experiences relate or differ from others and this interchange of ideas builds stronger communities.”
The third workshop, “Let’s Play Mancala,” is set for 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, also in the garden.
This is an in-person continuation of the 2020 virtual workshop, “Mancala: Math, Strategy, Prestige.” At this workshop, participants can expect to learn the skills it takes to play the game in addition to how to create and decorate their own mancala boards using household items.
“This event, as a continuation of last year’s virtual Mancala workshop, provides a creative and interesting way to learn about culturally significant historic and current African pastimes,” Jackson said. “Come learn more about Mancala, enjoy playing this popular game with us, and try decorating your own board.”
Mancala is one of the oldest known, two-player board games in the world, believed to have been created in ancient times. It is widely believed that traders brough the game with them when traveling and it quickly spread all over Africa and the world.
The workshops will be limited occupancy, so to secure a seat, participants must register online by going to https://www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/workshops2021 and selecting the workshop they’re interested in. Each workshop’s event page contains an EventBrite link for registration. Due to limited seating, it is asked that all attendees arrive on time for workshops so that the space can be utilized. Masks and social distancing optional for outdoor workshops/required for indoor tours.
To learn more about the Savannah African Art Museum, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org. For more information about upcoming events and the museum’s collection, please follow SAAM on Facebook and Instagram.
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