Exploring Cultures Through Art

Students interact with the cultures of the world at World Arts Day.

Monica Tamayo, Contributing Writer

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The Luckman Fine Arts Complex celebrated its fourth annual Worlds Arts Day in the courtyard on Saturday, Jan. 26th.

World Arts Day was created to give the University and surrounding Los Angeles community an opportunity to learn and interact with the various forms of art from around the globe. The overall goal for the event was to encourage intercultural dialogue and consideration of the significance of each culture throughout the world.

Specifically, the event aligns with Cal State LA’s priority areas of engagement, service, and the public good.

“It really is all about our mission, to bring art to the community; we believe that through art and dance, we can really change peoples lives. I wasn’t exposed to the arts until I joined the Luckman,” said Brian Garcia, a correspondent from the marketing department for the Arts Complex.

Previous themes for World Arts Day focused on India, Mexico, Ghana and Kenya. This year, the Luckman shed light on the Asian continent with a focus on Sri Lanka, Japan, China and Thailand.

Garcia mentioned that the Arts Complex chooses its countries for the event based on research and the various art forms which students can recreate in the community of Los Angeles.

“When they [participants] come here, they aren’t just here to do arts and crafts, they are learning why the art form has been around for so long and its history,” said Garcia.

The Luckman also invited students from Dance and Dialogue, a program hosted by the Fine Arts Complex to foster the importance of art in the form of dance.

Students were exposed to new forms of dance inside the theater and later dispersed to engage in the activities around the courtyard. The area was filled with glitter, paint and music as participants gathered around the various activity booths.

Traditional art forms from the highlighted countries were introduced through crafts for participants to experience first-hand after learning a brief history about each activity. Tables were filled with crafts each pertaining to a specific country including: Thailand parasol making, Chinese lantern decorating and traditional Sri Lanken jewelry making. Enormous drums and cheers from audience members attracted bystanders to the event where a Japanese Taiko drumming performance concluded the event in front of the Luckman Theater.

Participants recorded the performance and looked on as performers achieved the pronounced rumble sound from their instruments.

“We hope, and are confident that participants today walked away inspired to learn more about art. The arts unite us in a way that few things can,” said Wendy Baker, Executive director for the Luckman Fine Arts Complex. “It was thrilling to see how captivated everyone was during the Taiko drumming performance and then to later talk with students who expressed interest in learning more about the art form.”

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