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Rainstick.

Grades K-2 Lesson: Making Rain
In this lesson, students experience rain through several activities, experiments, reading, and performing
Musical Instruments, Nature, World Cultures, Latin America, Africa

Apartments

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Understanding Tenement Life
Through online stories and photographs, students will explore what daily life was like for the millions of poor Irish, German, Jewish, and Italian immigrants
America, History, World Cultures

Kecak Dance, Uluwatu temple

Grades 3-4 Lesson: The Monkey Dance: Exploring Balinese Culture
The Kecak is a Balinese dance drama based on the Hindu epic Ramayana, which was compiled between 500 and 400 BC.
Asia, Dance, Physical Activity, World Cultures, Animals

Irish Dancers

Grades 3-4 Lesson: You’re Invited to a Ceili: Exploring Irish Dance
Listen to Irish music, learn about ceilis, which are festive dance celebrations, view the intricate costumes worn by Irish dancers, and listen to an Irish poem.
Dance, Europe, World Cultures, Music, Fashion, Poetry

Day of the Dead figurines

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Tolerance: Comparing Cultural Holidays
Compare the artistic and cultural traditions of the U.S. celebration of Halloween and Mexico's Day of the Dead
America, Latin America, World Cultures, Folklore

Chinese performers

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Chinese Instruments
Explore the similarities and differences between traditional western instruments and Chinese instruments while creating a Chinese instrument.
Asia, Geography, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures, China

Mrs. Larocca

Grades 3-4 Lesson: America, A Home for Every Culture
Students will discuss and explore the cultures that have contributed to making the United States the unique and diverse country it is today.
America, History, World Cultures, Language

Chinese calligraphy

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Chinese Calligraphy
Students will experience the art and culture of Chinese calligraphy and Chinese ink painting through watercolor painting and Chinese instrumental music.
Asia, Language, Visual Arts, World Cultures, China

Native American Weaving

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Life of a Navajo Weaver
Students experiment with interpretative dance as they recreate the weaving process to Native American music
History, Native America, World Cultures, Visual Arts

Breaker Boys

Grades 3-4 Lesson: A Lens Into the Past
Students will gain a deeper understanding of the early 20th century American immigrant experience through photography and create their own photo collection for students of the future
America, History, World Cultures

Storyteller Figure by Michelle Paisano, Laguna Pueblo

Grades 3-4 Lesson: A Listening Doll
Create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls
Native America, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Hula dancers

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Island Breezes: Exploring Hula Dance
A hula dance is a choreographed interpretation of a poetic text, or mele, that tells a story through hand and arm gestures and rhythmic patterns.
Dance, Folklore, Geography, Asia, World Cultures

Landing at Ellis Island

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Immigrating to America
Students will learn what it was like for new immigrants to come through Ellis Island—a symbolic heart of American immigration—at the turn of the 20th century
America, World Cultures, History

Salma El Assal

Video: Salma El Assal
One of today’s leading Sudanese vocalists—her voice has been compared to that of Aretha Franklin—Salma El Assal performs with her ensemble contemporary arrangements of traditional Sudanese songs
Music, World Cultures, Africa

Reginald Policard

Video: Reginald Policard: Jazz & Kompa
The Millennium Stage joins the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in its celebration of Haiti and the 200th anniversary of the Haitian Revolution, with Reginald Policard and Friends performing jazz and konpa music.
Music, World Cultures

Pepe Reyes y su Mariachi Monumental de Cuscatlán

Video: Pepe Reyes y su Mariachi Monumental de Cuscatlán
El Salvadoran Pepe Reyes began singing ranchera music at the age of seven and has dedicated his life to the music he loves. He regularly brings his band, The Mariachi Cuscatlan Orchestra, to the U.S and this is his first Millennium Stage performance. Washington, D.C.
Latin America, Music, World Cultures

Sreevidhya Chandramouli

Video: Sreevidhya Chandramouli
A faculty member at the University of Oregon at Eugene, Sreevidhya Chandramouli plays the vina (plucked Indian lute) in the Karaikudi tradition, combining voice and vina in her performances.
Music, World Cultures, Asia, India

Miriam Lambert

Video: Miriam Lambert: Goldilocks & the Three Bears
Irish puppeteer Miriam Lambert makes the storybook Goldilocks and the Three Bears come alive.
Music, World Cultures, Europe, Folklore

Balkan Quartet

Video: Balkan Quartet
Specializing in Gypsy music, these versatile musicians from the heart of the Balkans perform music from the region
Music, World Cultures, Europe, Musical Instruments, Orchestra

Conga drum

Video: Azor: Vodou Jazz
Azor is known throughout the world as one of the most powerful voices in traditional sacred music in Vodou. He and his group of traditional drummers travel and record extensively especially in Japan. Their repertoire ranges from traditional chants to “Vodou jazz.”
Music, World Cultures, Folklore

Mariachi Chula Vista

Video: Mariachi Chula Vista
This ensemble from San Diego’s Chula Vista High School is considered one of the best student mariachi groups in the country
Latin America, Music, World Cultures, Young Artists

Felina Backer

Video: Felina Backer
Whether she is bringing joy to audiences through her vocal prowess or assisting a student on their path to a successful future, Felina Backer is a true inspiration to everyone she encounters. Felina uses her talent and spirit to transcend negativity and serve as a driving force throughout the United States, Canada, and Haiti.
Music, World Cultures

Edwin Colón Zayas

Video: Edwin Colón Zayas
A 2009 NEA Heritage Award winner, the Puerto Rican composer, arranger, and director is best known as a musician with a passion for the cuatro, a guitar-like instrument with five sets of double strings.
Music, Latin America, World Cultures

Shaanxi Folk Art Theater

Video: Shaanxi Folk Art Theater
This side by side video shows the story of the turtle and the crane as seen by the audience and behind the screen as the puppeteers bring the story to life
Asia, Backstage, China, Folklore, Puppets, World Cultures, Theater, Animals

Terra Cotta Warriors

Video: Terra Cotta Warriors
The Terra Cotta Warriors are a collection of 8,000 statues that were buried over 2,000 years ago in the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Three of the statues - two soldiers and a horse - were sent to the Kennedy Center for display during the Festival of China
Asia, China, Folklore, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Yunnan Singers, Dancers and Musicians

Video: Yunnan Singers, Dancers & Musicians
Artists of the Yi and Wa ethnic groups from Yunnan Province-the most ethnically diverse in China-demonstrate their unique folk traditions in this excerpt from the Kennedy Center's free Millennium Stage show.
Asia, China, Folklore, Music, World Cultures

Beijing Traditional Ensemble

Video: Beijing Traditional Music Ensemble
Beijing Traditional Music Ensemble's extensive repertoire and virtuoso musicians demonstrate the range of distinctive styles that developed in each region for erhu (fiddle), pipa (lute), and other instruments.
Asia, China, Music, World Cultures

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Video: Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra
Join the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra for a lecture and demonstration explaining each of the four sections of the Chinese orchestra as well as some of the individual instruments.
China, Asia, Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Music, World Cultures

El Alto Strings

Video: El Alto Strings
The Bolivian musicians may practice Bach and other classical music at home, but they were eager to share their interpretation of traditional Bolivian music during their performance at the Kennedy Center.
World Cultures, Musical Instruments, Latin America, Orchestra, Music, Young Artists

Pacifico

Video Series: Pacifico Dance Company
Compare and contrast the music and movement of traditional Mexican dances
Dance, Latin America, World Cultures

tabou combo

Video Series: Tabou Combo: Haitian Kompa
"Rhythm is the essence of Tabou Combo," says Tabou Combo's co-founder Herman Nau. The infectious rhythm of Haiti's national dance music, Konpa (con-pah), has propelled the country's preeminent dance band around the world. By the time Tabou Combo's 12 members left Haiti and relocated to New York City in 1971, they had already established themselves as Haiti's number one group and Ambassadors of Konpa. Tabou Combo now has worldwide fans and followers from Europe, Asia, South America, throughout the Caribbean, and in North America. It is easy to understand why Tabou Combo's relentless and high-energy style of Konpa knows no language barrier.
Music, World Cultures

Toyota Partner Robot

Video Series: Japan: Arts & Culture
This is your passport to the arts and culture of Japan as experienced through the Kennedy Center's Japan! culture + hyperculture festival (February 2008). This series will help you learn about some of the major art forms in Japan—art, theater, dance, music, manga, anime, robots, and visual art installations.
Architecture, Asia, Music, Visual Arts, World Cultures, Japan, Inventions, Innovators & Pioneers, Science

hands on a djembe

Video Series: Haiti: Music & Culture
This video series brings you a glimpse of the music of Haiti
Geography, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures

Shadow Puppets

Flash Interactive: Playing with Shadows: An Introduction to Shadow Puppets
Learn about the ancient art of Shadow Puppetry and find out how to create your own shadow plays!
China, Folklore, Animals, Jobs in the Arts, Puppets, Theater, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Greece

Interactive: City Dionysia: The Ancient Roots of Modern Theater
Designed to support high school studies of theater, literature and world history, this site leads students though the development of Ancient ideas and contemporary theater practice, then on to write and stage their own original play while demonstrating an understanding of the rules and structure of Greek tragedy.
Greece, History, Language, Theater, World Cultures

iPass

Flash Interactive: IPASS: Japan! Culture + Hyperculture
This interactive features a comprehensive study of the arts and culture of Japan, ranging from ancient to modern times. It includes an investigation of Japanese art, theater, dance, music, manga, anime, robots, and installations.
Japan, Asia, Music, Popular Culture, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Sounds of China

Audio Series: Sounds of China
Chinese music dates back thousands of years and sounds different from Western music thanks to important differences in tone, musical scale, pitch, instrumentation and individual instruments.
Asia, China, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures

indian wind musician

Audio Series: Maximum India: The Music of India
The music of India is as diverse as its many cultures. India has over a billion people and hundreds of dialects and languages spread across the seventh largest country in the world, but there is still an undeniable “sound” that makes Indian music unmistakable. This 3-part audio series, hosted by PBS journalist Hari Sreenivasan, explores different aspects of Indian music: Indian musical instruments; the styles of music across India; and what makes Indian music unique—and where it is going
Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures, India

Arabesque Podcast cover

Audio Series: Arabesque: Music of the Arab World
A 3-part audio series that explores different aspects of Arab music: the musical instruments of the Arab World; what makes Arab music unique; and the styles of music in the Arab World
Africa, Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures

Greece

Audio Series: Music of Greece: Past is Present
Discover how incomplete fragments of papyrus and stone can provide clues to recreating music that has not been heard in thousands of years, explore the far-reaching influence that ancient Greece has had on modern music, and experience the numerous cultural and historical influences that have contributed to the music of today’s Greece.
Opera, Greece, History, Music, World Cultures, Musical Instruments

arts challenge

Everyday Arts Challenge: Casting Call
You’re starring in a movie as a French chef. Get into character by describing what’s in your refrigerator. Remember your accent!
Movies & Movie Stars, Theater, World Cultures, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: A.K. Coomaraswamy
"The artist is not a special kind of man, but every man is a special kind of artist."
India, Young Artists, World Cultures

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Ibrahim Farrah
"Dance is so important in the world. It needs no language. Our bodies speak a language of its own."
World Cultures, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

Fiddler on the Roof

Arts Days: September 22, 1964: Mazel Tov! It’s a Hit!
It was just a simple story of a Russian Jew with five daughters, based on a book by Joseph Stein. But thanks to Jerry Bock’s music, Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics, and Zero Mostel’s unforgettable turn as Tevye the milkman, Fiddler on the Roof became one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals. Tevye tries hard to preserve the traditions of his childhood, but as his daughters grow up, fall in love, and leave the family’s village, he struggles to accept change.

In songs like “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” Tevye’s family’s life is recounted with both hilarity and poignancy. Fiddler would go on to be the first musical to break the 3,000-performance mark on Broadway.
Broadway, Musicals, Europe, Folklore, History, Theater, World Cultures

Cave Painting of a Horse

Arts Days: September 12, 1940: The Writing on the Wall
Estimated to be about 16,000 years old, the paintings in a network of caves found by four teenage boys are rare examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic era. Here in a region called Lascaux, hundreds of painted animals are visible on the caves’ walls, ranging from bison to stags to horses.

There are also geometric figures and patterns of dots that some say correlate with constellations. Some of the paintings show a sophisticated grasp of concepts like perspective and depth, too. Art historians say that the paintings indicate some of our oldest ancestors’ ability to express themselves in art.
Folklore, Geography, History, Europe, Visual Arts, World Cultures

King David Kalakaua

Arts Days: February 12, 1874: The King of Aloha
Before Hawaii became America’s 50th state, it was a monarchy ruled by King David Kalakaua I. Kalakaua is credited with helping to revive and support Hawaiian art forms like hula dancing; instruments like the ukelele; and martial arts, like Lua.

You see, some religious missionaries on the Islands thought these activities were improper. They had spent years before Kalakaua was elected to the throne trying to suppress various elements of Hawaiian culture, including its languages and art customs—even surfing!

But Kalakaua believed that these traditions and activities were important for native Hawaiians to learn, enjoy, and share with others to help keep Hawaii’s unique cultural history alive.  For his efforts, he was nicknamed “the Merrie Monarch.”
Dance, America, Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, Folklore, World Cultures

Gladiators Fighting

Arts Days: January 01, 404 C.E.: The Day the Crowd Went Silent

Believe it or not, the ancient Roman practice of pitting professional fighters against one another, wild animals, or condemned criminals for the viewing pleasure of a live audience, is considered one of civilization's earliest forms of social entertainment.

The first known gladiatorial competitions were held in Italy in 310 C.E. to impress the public with reenactments of exciting military battles and demonstrations of individual soldiers' strengths.

Over time, the games evolved into a much more elaborate spectacle. The games were popular with members of all social classes, prompting the construction of a new, larger kind of venue--the amphitheatre, or open air arena--a design still used today.

But hold on, not everyone appreciated the gore-filled competitions. Christians objected to the immorality of the viewers who happily observed the violence. Nearing the fall of the Empire, when numerous wars led to an economic recession and Christianity continued to spread, gladiatorial games began to decline.

After the last known gladiatorial competition was held on this day in Rome, Italy, audiences turned their attention to theater performances.
Controversial, Sports, Theater, World Cultures

Rajaharischandra

Arts Days: May 03, 1913: Hooray for Bollywood
“Bollywood” is a catchy term for the Hindi-language film industry featuring big dance numbers, lots of emotion, and many attractive actors. The nickname is a play on the words “Hollywood” and “Bombay,” a city in India now known as Mumbai, where most filming takes place.

When Raja Harishchandra premiered on this day, crowds flocked to see the film about an Indian king who sacrifices his kingdom and family in honor of a wise man named Vishvamitra. The silent movie was such a smash that more copies had to be printed. Overnight, the Bollywood phenomenon was born.

Today’s Bollywood movies typically run for two or three hours; are filled with song and dance; tell interwoven stories about boys and girls falling in love; and almost always have a happy ending. Many have become hits around the world. Outside of India, the highest-grossing Bollywood film to date has been Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, filmed in New York City, of all places.


India, Musicals, Movies & Movie Stars, Popular Culture, World Cultures

Banda Magda

Cuesheet: Banda Magda
This award-winning band combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, sung in six languages for a globetrotting adventure. Banda Magda returns with a lively performance showcasing its new album Tigre, featuring Uruguayan candombe to Greek folklore to Brazilian samba beats. With plenty of audience participation and irresistible rhythms led by accordionist and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda will get everyone moving.
Latin America, Music, World Cultures

The Human Journey

Collection: The Human Journey
Beginning in October 2018 through July 2019, The Kennedy Center, National Geographic Society, and the National Gallery of Art will present a range of multidisciplinary performances, exhibits, and immersive discussions that tell this larger story through a personal lens.
Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Family, Geography, History, World Cultures, The Human Journey

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