Living Arts worked with Clippert Academy fifth grade students in the classroom and at various locations throughout Detroit for Detroit Latinos: How We Got Here, How We Live Here, Then and Now. Detroit Latinos was a social studies project utilizing digital photography to explore the historic and present immigration of Southwest Detroit’s Latino Community. From their photographs, students created artwork that expresses not only the journey of other immigrants, but their own racial and cultural identities. Lead by Living Arts Teaching Artist Lisa Luevanos and Clippert teacher Emma Howland Bolton, students visited La SED Senior Center in Southwest Detroit on Thursday, March 3rd to interview residents on their own immigration stories and their lives here in Detroit. The students enjoyed speaking to the residents in Spanish, and learning about their personal histories, struggles with prejudice, and triumphs as immigrants. In addition to the interviews, the students joined the seniors for lunch and a game of pool. Students captured their visit on their digital cameras and photos will be contributed to the project. Howland Bolton, the student’s teacher, said that the “students had a great time and learned a lot. Their number one question was ‘when can we go back?’”.
A public exhibition of student’s photography took place on Saturday, May 21st at the Ford Resource & Engagement Center at the Mexicantown Mercado. Detroit Latinos: How We Got Here, How We Live Here, Then and Now was funded by the Michigan Humanities Council Heritage Grant.