Guest post by MOA Marketing Student, Isabelle Kramer
This year’s Family Arts Festival was especially innovative, especially in regards to thinking of ways to present the current refugee crisis to the younger generation. Rather than focusing on the harsh reality of displaced families throughout the world, the MOA Education staff concentrated on ways we can all help right here in Provo, Utah.
The theme of the 2018 Family Arts Festival was The Art of Caring, juxtaposing the current refugee crisis with our newest exhibitions. Highlighted were Rick Shaefer’s Refugee Trilogy and Adrian Paci’s Albanian Stories —both exhibits impressing visitors about the viewer the sheer magnitude of people being driven from their homes amidst persecution and conflict. At the Family Arts Festival, older siblings, parents, and grandparents toured these exhibitions and there were plenty of hands-on activities for younger children.
One of the highlights of the day included was a cardboard city in the MOA’s Sculpture Garden, which was created to help youth see the ways they could contribute to their own communities and welcome everyone. Paints were provided, and pretty soon, the cardboard village turned into a rainbow of handprints, swirls, and a few splatters.
Some kids opted for a less-messy alternative, helping us make blankets to send to refugees. Others learned about world dance and watched several dance performances. Still others learned about animals found in other cultures, and even got to see live animals, thanks to the Bean Museum! Representatives from the Museum of Peoples and Cultures also taught kids about respecting world cultures. Pretty neat, huh?
All in all, this years Family Arts Festival was a remarkable way to help families find ways to get involved in their communities and find ways to make sure that anyone who has been displaced feels at home, no matter where that new home may be.