Kid 2 Kid Cultural Exchange Program, 2005-2006
Cusco, Peru/New York, USA: Traditional Songs and Tales from Life in the Andes
Commissioned by the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah NY
In this workshop, through theatrical storytelling with songs and stories, Adolfo Ibañez Ayerve demonstrated the important function of the musician in the Andean culture. Historically and to the present day, Andean people depend upon agricultural practices for their livelihoods; daily life is infused with traditions involving religion, music, art, and festivals that celebrate and nurture the land (pachamama or mother earth). Every Andean community (or ayllu, the Q’echua word for “family”) has a deep understanding of the bounty the land provides, and the people work together to manage it in a balanced way. During times of planting, irrigation and harvest, musicians will accompany those working in the fields (chacras), playing songs that inspire people to keep irrigation system clean, to turn soil, and to help one another other within the community.
In Peru we set up workshops in three communities, during which we helped the children make illustrated/photographic picture books to document aspects of their everyday lives (their homes, favorite pastimes, traditions, etc.), and facilitated theatre, mask-making and art workshops.
* Qosqo Maki is an organization supporting street children and children without parental support.
* Children of Mothers working at San Pedro Market in Cusco.
* Winaypaq is an alternative school in the Sacred Valley across the river from Pisac.
In the United States we facilitated similar workshops with children in Peekskill and at Katonah Museum.
The books made in the US and Peru were exchanged to allow all the children involved to better understand each other’s culture. In May 2006 the books were exhibited at the Katonah Museum’s Learning Center.