Kenwood Teacher Earns New Birchbark Books Sponsored Cultural Understanding Award

Kenwood Teacher Earns New Birchbark Books Sponsored Cultural Understanding Award
In recognition of her remarkable teaching skill and thoughtful implementation of a Native American Art curriculum for Kenwood students, Birchbark Books will sponsor an annual award in honor of art specialist, Margaret Zimmerman-Swenson.  The 2017 "Bridging the Gap of Cultural Understanding" Award presented to Ms. Zimmerman-Swenson included a Birchbark Books gift card as well as a Native basket and food collection. The award will be offered annually to a Kenwood Elementary School student, family or staff member who successfully promotes cross cultural understanding for the school community.
Student art in this exhibit was created under the guidance of Ms. Zimmerman-Swenson during recent Native American artist residencies with visiting Ojibwe and Lakota artists Gordon Coons, Dyani Whitehawk, and James Autio.
This is the second year for the residencies. Minneapolis Public School parents, Angie Erdrich and Heid Erdrich, both Ojibwe, were impressed with Ms. Zimmerman-Swenson's art lessons, which gave rise to an effort to team up on curriculum ideas and invite contemporary Native American artists in 2016 and 2017. Kenwood and the artists did such a great job, Heid Erdrich brought the project to the attention of Minneapolis Art Institute's education staff who began consulting with Ms. Zimmerman-Swenson. According to Heid Erdrich, “MIA’s plan is to support the residencies and further develop lessons so they align with state and district standards. They plan to work with the artists to share lessons via MIA's website. The project is in its early stages and MIA staff have been observing students and artists as they interact this fall.” Artist residencies were sponsored by the Kenwood PTA. 

The public is welcome to visit "Native American Art: Teaching in present Tense" all student art exhibit on Thursday, November 16th from 4:30-7 pm during Family Involvement Night or by contacting Lori Smith
Family Liaison - Kenwood Elementary School