PHOENIX – A performance weaving together folktales, music and art captivated students at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School on Monday.
The program, “StoryFaces,” featured sixth and eighth grade students as they were transformed into characters and scenes from different folktales.
Artist and storyteller Christopher Agostino shared tales that were inspired by different cultures in different time periods.
With the help of student volunteers, Agostino made the stories come to life through art.
“All cultures use masks and makeup,” Agostino said. “Masks and makeup are used for theatrical purposes, for celebrations and festivals, and for individual self-expression.”
To illustrate these three forms of masks, Agostino took his paint brush and used students’ faces as canvases.
He transformed one student into a Samurai warrior while discussing the Japanese culture behind the artwork.
According to EJD art teacher Beth Pritchard, Agostino’s visit was a true cultural experience for the students.
“The storytelling, connecting literacy with the arts, talking about world cultures … everything in his performance has a strong tie to the curriculum,” she said.
The performance was made possible through the Arts-in-Education service at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation.