The Moffet Arab Arts After-School Program continues to flourish this spring, led by our dedicated teaching artists, teaching assistants, and administrators. In addition to the support team of Program Coordinator Max Dugan and Program Assistant Zahia Mustafa, we have added Edgar Felix and Kristen Shields to help provide holistic support for both teachers and students alike. Like previous semesters, every student gets to enjoy multilingual singing, percussion, and visual art lessons Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 3 to 5:30.
In the Choir and Music Skills class with teaching artist Mr. Serge Helou, students learn how to sing songs in Arabic, French, Spanish, and English. The beginner and intermediate level drummers of the percussion class are moving quickly through the Arab Percussion Method books with author and master percussionist Mr. Hafez Kotain. Through attentiveness in class and a lot of practice at home the percussion groups and choir have coalesced, with some exceptional students like Dana Barakat even apprentice teaching with the younger percussion groups.
In the fall, students in the visual art class collaboratively imagined, designed, and made stepping-stones for the garden with teaching artist Ms. Nancy Sophy. They also made spice paintings and learned about Jordanian muralist Rima Malallah with teaching artist Ms. Lisa Volta. The efforts of teaching assistant Ms. Claudia Bokulich were essential to the success of both classes. This semester, Ms. Lisa is teaching students about mixed media collage through the work of Lebanese artist Zena El Khalil. Stay tuned for the panel project that will be installed in the school garden later this spring!
On March 4, 2016, Max Dugan started a new partnership with Circle of Hope, who hosted the Moffet Drummers and Moffet choir performance and exhibition of student work as a part of #FirstFriday. The Circle of Hope Gallery, located at the intersection of Frankford Avenue and Norris Street, was jam packed with families, Moffet teachers and alumni, long-time Al-Bustan supporters, and new friends all present to celebrate the students’ achievements. We were even joined by Peggy Laramee, one of Al-Bustan’s most dedicated supporters and the person who brought Al-Bustan to Moffet, who spoke about the work of the budding Friends of Moffet organization. This was a truly special evening where students had the chance to share what they have accomplished with a public audience. Delicious falafel, hummus, and pita bread were donated by Al-Amana Market and Liberty Choice and cookies were provided by Cousins Supermarket. It was a wonderful evening made possible by the generosity and enthusiasm of the Moffet and Al-Bustan communities, and the dedication of the exceptional, ever-brilliant Moffet students!