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Mission and Goals

Guiding Practices


Peace Event



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Paul Hillman

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since 04/27/2009

The 8th Grade Class at Orangewood School proudly presented

"Envisioning Peace: Tolerance" on Friday, April 24th.

A Celebration of Japanese Dance and Taiko Drumming

Michele Ceballos, Founder and Director of Opendance

This presentation was designed to enhance and share the 8th grade, Cross Curricular Unit of study on World War II and "Envisioning Peace: Tolerance", Phoenix, Arizona.

The unit of study was made possible by funding from the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, the Cultural Arts Coalition (who also helped to write the grant and create the arts component of the curriculum), the Orangewood Site Council, the Orangewood PTO and the Orangewood Student Council.

Before all the classes viewed this 40 minute performance makeup and costuming was applied...

The stage was set with visual arts created by the 8th graders during the art classes weeks before; the result of a bead and origami crane workshop based on the book Sadako, the true story of a Japanese girl who died from leukemia, radiation from the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Children around the world create cranes honoring acts of peace building. These origami crane and bead strands are intentions for PEACE in our homes, communities, countries made by each 8th grader at Orangewood. A lesson plan for crane making can be found at

The 800 students were divided into 2 rotating groups to provide an opportunity for everyone in the school to attend this production.

Anna Davis, Social Studies teacher who arranged for this grant and who led the school through the process of application and coordination of studies/artists in residency program, introduced the program of the day.

A special thanks was extended to judy butzine of the Cultural Arts Coalition; Esther Vandecar of Fushicho Daiko Dojo; Michele Ceballos and Dulce Juarez of Opendance; Orangewood Principal Andree Charlson, Regan Schwartz, Catherine Switzer, Alejandro Luna, Melissa Griffin, Enoch Davis and Warren Panaligan for their dedication to the arts and the students of Orangewood Elementary.

The Narrators throughout the performance set the theme of the performance by reading components of the book by Arizona writer and Caldecott Honor Awardee, Byrd Baylor, The Way to Start A Day illustrated by Peter Parnall.

The way to start a day is this---Go outside and face the east and greet the sun with some kind of blessing or chant or song that you made yourself and keep for the early morning. Byrd Baylor

Dance choreographed by Michele Ceballos, Opendance, "Feel the Sun"

Student narrator Claire Davis

The way to make the song is this—Don't try to think what words to use until you're standing there alone.When you feel the sun you'll feel the song too.Just sing. Byrd Baylor

Taiko Drumming instructed and led by Esther Vandecar—"Edo Matsuri"

A morning needs to be sung to.A new day needs to be honored.People have always known that. Byrd Baylor

"Chant at Dawn"

Didn't the pharaohs of Egypt say the only sound at dawn should be the sound of the songs that please the morning sun? They know what songs to sing. People always seemed to know. Byrd Baylor

"Hidari Kiki No Taiko"

Everywhere they knew to give something. And everywhere they knew to turn their faces eastward as the sun came up. Some people still know. Byrd Baylor

"The Power of Life"

Student narrator Brianna Fernandez

They knew exactly how to start a day. Their blessings float on the wind over the Pueblo cornfields in New Mexico, and you hear their morning songs in villages in Africa, and they salute the sunrise ceremonially in the high cold mountains of Peru. Byrd Baylor


Family also came to honor the youth and their contributions to the community….

You have to make a good world for it to live its one-day life in.And the way to start, they say, is just by looking east at dawn. When they look east tomorrow, you can too. Your song will be an offering—That's part of the magic.That's the way to start a day. Byrd Baylor

The structure of this program aligns with artspace – a new initiative spearheaded by the Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture (POAC) in partnership with Arizona Department of Education, Arizona State University Herberger College of the Arts and Arizona State Libraries. The vision of artspace is to establish a new model of educational experience to ensure students are self-confident and successful in school and can make a positive impact in their community, developing the abilities of students to create work and respond to creative work in many disciplines, building skills for the imagination and innovation necessary for the 21st century workplace. Connecting organizations that share ideologies, such as artspace and the Cultural Arts Coalition, is essential to shifting thought around the role of arts in education. For more information about artspace contact Jocelyn Hanson, Director of Arts in Education for POAC at or 602-495-0189.

Comments from Esther Vandecar: Anna, Thank you for your faith in your students, which was well placed. They were a great surprise to this veteran teaching artist – teenagers who knew enough to leave their attitude elsewhere and embrace this fabulous opportunity. They rose to the occasion, and look at the show they produced!!! I couldn't have done my part without your guidance and support. Anna, please pass this on to Regan (coach), whom I only got acquainted with in the last couple of days. She, too, did a great job.

Michele, Finally, after all of these years of promising each other we would do a collaboration – WE DID IT! Not only did we do it but we did it right. These kids were fabulous, and the show was something we can all be proud of. And I am now looking forward to doing it again, with you (and Dulce, I hope).

Jocelyn (Director of Education and Programing at the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture) , Once again, after many years of thanks for your outstanding support of arts, and artists, you have showed up in some ordinary school for a seemingly ordinary assembly, and you still have the fresh spirit to be moved by the final result of everyone's hard work. Your smiling face in any audience I am looking at is a welcome sight. I have learned over the years that any idea you want to further, is an idea worth pursuing. Thanks again for your time, your enthusiasm and your appreciation of what the arts can do for people of all ages. Esther

The participants of the Cultural Arts Coalition and the CAC Board of Directors want to give a special thank you to Anna Davis for her request of CAC assistance in the design and implementation of this incredible Learning Unit that embraces the Mission and Goals of the Cultural Arts Coalition:

The Mission of the Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona: 501 (c) 3, a nonpartisan organization in existence since 2005: stimulates creative, analytical and leadership development for personal transformation and collective change through celebrations and multidisciplinary learning experiences.

The Goals of the Cultural Arts Coalition are to:

  • Provide spaces and opportunities for persons to engage in dialogue, experiences, and research that expand the definition and understanding of the role of the arts in enriching our daily lives in community and academic settings.