Oct 09 2013
Annabeth Headrick Visit
In April 2013, CLAS invited Annabeth Headrick (University of Denver) to Nashville to give a lecture at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts as a part of our collaboration on the Frist’s “Exploring Art of Ancient America” exhibit. Headrick’s public lecture was titled “Fighting for Water: War and Agriculture in Mesoamerica,” and she led two engaging K–12 teacher workshops at the Frist.
Symphony Workshop: A Musical Journey through the Indigenous Cultures of Mexico: Carlos Chavez’ Sinfonía India
In April, CLAS collaborated with the Nashville Symphony to present a workshop focused on Mexican composer Carlos Chavez’s Sinfonía India. Written in 1934–35, the piece is a musical travelogue through the diversity of sounds of Mexico’s indigenous cultures. Led by CLAS ethnomusicologist Helena Simonett and Nashville Symphony percussionist Sam Bacco, teachers attended a dress rehearsal of Sinfonía India, explored indigenous musical themes, and had a hands-on demonstration of the percussion instruments used in the piece.
MNPS Externship: La Camioneta
On June 5–6, four teachers from Hillsboro High School participated in the Academies of Nashville Teacher Team Externship program at the Center for Latin American Studies. For the externship, the teachers developed curriculum around the documentary La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus, directed by LAS alum Mark Kendall and supported by CLAS. While on campus, the teachers met with faculty in the Department of Anthropology (Ted Fischer) and Peabody College of Education (Andrew Hostettler) as well as off- campus CLAS partners Belcourt Cinema and Conexin Américas. The externship teacher team created and presented a unit to their colleagues entitled “The Story of Stuff.” The goal of the unit is to guide students in an investigation of the consequences of our actions locally, nationally, and internationally, to develop a sensitivity to other cultures and how we impact each other, and to build confidence in responding to local, national, and international issues. This and other externships are among some of the most important ways CLAS makes a deep impact on teaching and learning about Latin America.
La Camioneta continues to garner significant attention. The film traces the story of a decommissioned school bus taken from the United States to Guatemala, exploring the lives and work of the people involved in this process. The film was chosen in the New York Times Critics’ Pick (May 30, 2013) and has been shown at theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and Albuquerque, at numerous film festivals (see lacamionetafilm.com for a full list), and at the New York Association for Pupil Transport conference in July 2013. The film has had a great impact on the general public nationally, but CLAS has worked to ensure that it especially impacts K–12 educators by collaborating closely with Kendall, Peabody faculty and students, and local teachers to produce a set of cross-disciplinary K–12 curriculum materials for the film. These resources were introduced to educators in January and are now available online. This story was featured in the International and Foreign Language Education newsletter in June 2013.