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Culture Creates Community: 10 Videos for Building Community Through Art

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Show students how art can serve as a vehicle for self-expression and community-building with this video collection from KQED. Featured resources spotlight artists who maintain or adapt traditional art forms, from bluegrass to tintype portraits.

Culture Creates Community  is one of a series of KQED Arts collections in PBS LearningMedia that have been created to help educators find the best arts-focused PBS resources to enrich learning experiences and integrate the arts into classroom curricula of all subjects.

Culture Creates Community

The Art of Screaming in Color: Scape Martinez, Graffiti Artist

Graffiti artist Edward Martinez adopted the alter-ego “Scape,” as an acronym for “Screaming, Creative, and Positive Energy”. That energy is evident both in his vividly pulsating paintings and in his work with under-served youth in East Palo Alto, California.


Laurie Lewis Brings Berkeley Roots to Bluegrass

Laurie Lewis is a San Francisco Bay Area bluegrass legend. The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist continues to craft a unique sound of her own while helping to guide the next generation of Bay Area roots musicians.

Photographer on a Mission: Ed Drew

Ed Drew’s tintype portraits of his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan evoked the timelessness of war. Once he returned to the United States, Drew turned his lens toward an organic garden project that’s empowering at-risk youth.

Bridging Cultures with the Stroke of a Pen: Zubair Simab

With his calligraphy, Zubair Simab seeks both to preserve the ancient art of beautifying Arabic texts and to build understanding among cultures. Zubair fled when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan at 17, eventually emigrating to the Bay Area.

Santa Cruz Quilter Helps Piece Together the Lost Art of Hawaiian Kapa

Kapa is the traditional Hawaiian cloth made from tree bark. Wendeanne Ke`aka Stitt makes kapa today using natural dyes and ancient techniques.

Cambodia’s Dark Past Behind Her, A Dancer Steps into the Light

Charya Burt trained in and taught classical Cambodian dance in Phnom Penh, where her family suffered oppression by the Khmer Rouge. Now in the Bay Area, she’s passing on her art — and pushing it in new directions.

Kei Lun Lion Dancers Find New Meaning in Ancient Steps

There are several lion dance troupes in the Bay Area. What sets Kei Lun apart is the group’s dedication to passing on ancient Chinese stories, told through the art of lion dance. In the traditional lion dance, props are used that represent different meanings.

Drawing From American Hip-Hop and Iranian Culture with Ala Ebtekar

Ala Ebtekar experiments with different art forms and has been inspired by literary narratives since he was very young. He grew up as a graffiti writer and DJ, and later pursued painting studies in Iran.

Americana Music with American Nomad

American Nomad is a band that keeps Americana music alive by mixing contemporary and traditional approaches. Join them as they share their approach to songwriting, recording, and performing.

Chinese-Born Artist Ma Li Makes Treasure from Trash

Crafted from recycled materials, Ma Li’s dream-like sculptures celebrate individual freedom, imagination and play.

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