Arts integration, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE Co-Lab) Hibbard Elementary School, Chicago, 2016

Big Idea: Migratory movements and the push and pull factors. Inquiry: How can storytelling and visualization help us unpack our migration histories? Standards addressed: Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts. Art media and processes used: ipad photography, collage, drawing and installation. 12 week collaboration, 60 5th grade students, two school teachers and two teaching artists. 

Hibbard is a diverse school, with students from many different countries speaking a multitude of languages. Artists Sanaz Sohrabi and Teresa Miró collaborated with two teachers and classes that were also inclusion rooms and supported special education students. The project was inspired by the students, their families and cultures, and fueled by both artists’ own immigration stories. We wanted to discover and share the reasons why families and individuals leave their homes and come to Albany Park, Chicago. The students learned about traditional cartography, its relationship to politics and ideology, and how artistic photographs and maps allow us to reflect differently on our own cultures and migratory experiences. They practiced the basics of iPad photography while going on scavenger hunts for marks and elements that reminded them of migration and cartography. The images they took were surprising and evocative, and they presented them and explained their choices to the class. By the end of the collaboration we all learned new things about each other, and found comfort realizing that, no matter where we are from, we all want to be safe and happy.