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Sitka News

Sitka's Art Literacy Program in Classrooms Now

What Would You Draw to Record 2020?

Artwork by Kael, student of Nestucca Valley Elementary School

November marks the launch of Sitka's new youth art literacy program in partnership with local schools. This month, inspired by Christina Burke's talk and Lakota Winter Counts, students are creating their own pictographs. To begin, the class is encouraged to have conversations with household members, discussing significant events that occurred this year. Afterwards, they choose which stories they will generate imagery for and record this history in their artwork. You can read more about the program and this art literacy lesson in "Marking a year, making a change", written by regional arts journalist, Lori Tobias.

Please participate:  With many of us celebrating winter holidays at a physical distance from loved ones this year, this activity is a way to reflect virtually with family members of all ages and create memories and art together. Here's how to participate:

  1. Talk with your loved ones about life experiences this past year - happy, sad, scary, hilarious, unforgettable, etc.
  2. Spend some time sketching out imagery you might use to tell these stories without using words, then make your final artwork/s.
  3. Special note regarding cultural appropriation:
  4. Do not draw images that look like the traditional images you see here. Draw from your own life and experience.
  5. Do not call what you are making Winter Counts, unless you come from that tradition. Do say that we are making pictures of events from our year inspired by the Lakota tradition of Winter Counts to remember history and share stories about the past.
  6. Please share your creative work with us by sending photos to info@sitkacenter.org.
  7. We'll share a link to the 2020 intergenerational gallery in December of select submissions.


We hope you will participate in the gallery project, joining our new  coastal kid collaborators, and creating a culture together where everyone draws!


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