I See YOU: An Experience in Native American Arts and Culture
The biggest hurdle to creating compassion is committing to the position that every human has value and purpose. A new, child-centered exhibit experience will confront each guest with that truth in a totally unique way—with a GLCM-style, “A-Ha!”—helping parents and caregivers establish foundational, life-changing attitudes in their children, and possibly even within themselves. Not only about racial equality and cultural understanding, but about societal justice, economic equity, equal pay for equal work, and much more, this Museum exhibit cannot be constrained by the definition of an “exhibit”. This “experience” will help guests discover value in themselves and others by immersing them in activities emphasizing similarities, while acknowledging differences in a supportive way.
In a series of four events honoring the changing of the seasons, this first 2022 Summer Solstice Gathering Party and workshop will feature a local, Native American Artist interacting with a limited number of children and their adults. The artist’s work will be highlighted in a multi-sensory experience as they speak about how the work was developed, why, and what it means to them. Children and their adults are encouraged to participate in the live, facilitated conversation about how art celebrates their lived experience. As we know, oral language and storytelling long predate all other forms of communication, and these stories will be recorded for playback in the Museum and beyond. Modeled after the project originating in Copenhagen, Denmark, this part of the experience will be a “Human Library” of sorts, allowing the artists to help children understand the beauty and significance of each individual art medium, art piece, and artist themselves. And, of course, GLCM’s signature style of hands-on activities include opportunities for children to express their own uniqueness through the creation of their own art.
This entire experience, blending art, humanities, culture, activity, and history will strengthen and benefit families of Traverse City and Northern Michigan and beyond. If children can begin from the position that every person in the room has something unique and valuable to bring to the conversation, we will end up with more compassionate neighbors and friends. That may not have immediate impact across cultural identity groups and the community, but in time, it will have massive implications as those children grow up and become part of the global society.