On February 14th students at Old Adobe School in Petaluma celebrated Valentine’s Day AND a celebration of Haitian music, culture, dance and storytelling. The entire school participated in an exciting and enthusiastic culminating performance of a ten week residency with Mentor Artists Djenane Saint Juste, Jeff Pierre and Mama Fofo (Florencia Pierre).
Wearing vibrant costumes and explaining about the languages, history and culture of Haiti, then dancing and playing the drums, Old Adobe students rocked the auditorium. The show closed with the fourth and fifth graders telling the story of “Lasiren & Labalen,” the Mermaid and the Whale.
The entire school ended the show with a rousing rendition of a Haitian folk song. A wonderful performance for all.
Principal Jeff Williamson stated, “As a principal during challenging economic times it is very important to make every dollar serve students well. Youth in Arts was very attentive to our school’s unique needs and we had several conversations working to make sure our school was matched with an artist that would enhance the education of our children and build artistic capacity in our staff. Djenane, and her band of drummers, dancers, and story tellers made a great impact on our students, staff, and parents. The group of artists worked with the entire school community to present a school-wide performance during which each student got to perform. It was heart warming and brought out high quality artistry in our students. I am already looking forward to the next time I can bring Youth in Arts to our school.”