Three schools at Walton Campus in the Bronx collaborated to celebrate the cultural diversity on campus in “The World We Make”: Kingsbridge International Academy, International School for Liberal Arts (ISLA), and Teaching Arts and Professions HS. Nearly 200 students (six classes) with roots in South and Central America, the Carribbean, Africa, and the Middle East led the effort, uniting the diverse campus in unprecedented ways throughout the process. Dom Resitina, the campus manager, saw this as he passed the project space everyday, and commented:
“What I thought what was great: … it brought all the different schools together here. When I would come downstairs and check out on how the classes were doing… all the kids were 100% active about it. … They bought into this project because it was stuff that brought out their own creativity. And I think that’s what’s also important with art and education in schools is that kids needs these creative outlets like art and music and all these programs that always seem to be the first ones to get cut. And I think that’s it’s a great thing that we were able to bring that over here to the campus.”
Bill Gagstetter, the principal of Kingsbridge Academy, also saw the project as a way to bring the students together as a community. In his eyes, the project was also an opportunity for the students to see how planning and work can cause a seemingly lofty goal to be achieved.
“This project was really beneficial in the sense that it gave students in the class a sense of community. I saw them out here and I saw them directing each other, laughing with each other, versus being in the classroom, working on their own independent project. I mean from a music perspective, it reminds me of learning a solo versus playing with an ensemble, having to know your role within the big picture piece with other colleagues. We had about sixty kids total working on it and after that project you could see a difference in the class. Even when they went back to their independent projects, the way they collaborated with one another, the way they had a sense of pride in what they did was different. So I think that this project really gave them a sense of what art is… what it means to them to create something.”
Walton Campus: The World We Make (2018)
Collaboration and understanding of differences creates an atmosphere of productivity and creativity.
Walton Campus: Production
The students were elated to see the huge mural completed with many of their original ideas included.
Walton Campus: Ribbon Cutting