SchoolArts Magazine

February 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 42 of 54

PAGE SPONSORED BY: I t seems the news is growing worse, and critical global issues can seem especially daunting to young people. But daily, youth worldwide demonstrate empathy, take action, and raise funds to help their peers by creating art for Students Rebuild. Take the Challenge Students Rebuild is a free, collaborative program of the Bezos Family Foundation. Students "take the chal - lenge" by creating sym- bolic art objects, which the foundation matches with funding for a worthy cause. Students have created everything from paper beads and origami cranes, to nonperishable flower garlands. Each item is matched with fund- ing so charitable organizations can provide water projects in Tanzania, post-earthquake Haiti, Japan, and Nepal, and vocational training for conflict survivors in Africa. Students show they care by learning about an issue, creating something unique, and mailing in symbolic items, all the while reflecting upon the experi- ence. If shipping costs are prohibitive for those outside of the United States, they can participate by submitting photos of the items they make. Peer Interaction By creating symbolic and heartfelt art, youth of all backgrounds cre- atively connect with their peers, prac- tice empathy, and integrate art into global citizenship. As students work together, they deepen their under- standing of the world and their place within it. The heart of Students Rebuild is the educators who adapt challenges into their classrooms. To bolster those efforts, Students Rebuild provides free resources, including curriculum and international webcasts so youth from around the world can interact. Artist Collaboration What happens to items students cre- ate? Sometimes they are given to beneficiaries in addition to match- ing funds, and sometimes they have a second artistic life. When youth worldwide responded to our Paper Cranes for Japan challenge by folding and mailing in two million origami cranes, this inspired renowned artist Vik Muniz. He created a magnificent piece titled Large Paper Crane, using thousands of students' cranes arranged and pho- tographed in his studio. The photograph became a benefit poster that con- tinues to generate funds for rebuilding in Japan. Other challenges have included creating paper beads to raise funds for clean water projects in Tanzania, and creating one million clay bones to raise awareness about and encourage action against genocide in Somalia and the Demo- cratic Republic of Congo. With every piece of art, students bridge geographic divides to embrace our shared humanity. Youth are clearly ready, willing, and able to connect, learn, and take collective action on global issues. They crave opportunities to become a generation of change mak- ers, and they can accomplish this through artistic expression with Stu- dents Rebuild. Join the movement by taking the current challenge at www. Sabrina Urquhart is the manager of Students Rebuild. sabrina@ bezosfamily- Sabrina Urquhart Art serves as the perfect vehicle to discuss and address seemingl ntractable issues and enact change. Students Rebuild F O C U S I N 38 FEBRUARY 2016 SchoolArts

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