Carnaval is coming to Iowa City this summer on June 9 as part of the Iowa Arts Festival! The theme for the parade is stories from Iowa. For over a year I have been working as a community organizer, researcher, and design artist for the parade with a great team led by Loyce Arthur, UI theatre arts faculty member.
I had the opportunity to work with 5th and 6th graders at Longfellow Elementary School making bird puppets for the parade for five weeks. Each class discussed what the birds could symbolize in this Iowa community arts project. Students talked about the important associations of freedom, flying, beauty, hopes, and dreams that the birds represent. Students learned about the diverse cultural traditions of carnaval around the world. They saw works of art such as: the concept sketches, costumes, headdresses, puppets, and small floats that are being created for the Iowa City carnaval parade. We also had fun listening to calypso music while we worked.
Below are links to media coverage for the Iowa City Carnaval Project: