"Stories Matter" Exhibit to be Unveiled at NCAS "Think Show" May 21

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Exhibit is the Culmination of Mizel Museum Project Supported by NEA Grant

stories matter book

A Stories Mattered altered book

If you judge a book by its cover, you might miss out on an awesome story."

Stories Matter, a project of the Mizel Museum, Louisville-based artist/photographer Dona Laurita and 9th and 10th grade students at Noel Community Arts School (NCAS) in Denver, will culminate in the unveiling of a traveling exhibit based on the project, which received a prestigious award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibit will be on display at the first NCAS Think Show, Tuesday, May 21, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. NCAS is located at 5290 Kittredge Street, Denver.

The Stories Matter project is based on the premise that if you judge a book by its cover, you might miss out on an awesome story. During the process of the project, students worked intensively with Dona Laurita, along with professional storyteller Cherie Karo Schwartz, and spoken word artist Adrian Molina, to deepen their understanding of the many factors and stories that shape who they are as individuals and communities, and to share their voices through art.

The exhibit echoes one aspect of project, when each student created an altered book. Large, wooden accordion panels connect to create an over-sized “page” that consists of individual and collective expressions of identity from the participating classes. The panels are brimming with meaning. One side of the page is covered with 150 photographs of the students’ silhouettes while the other is adorned with words, symbols and photos of each teenager. Dona Laurita and the Mizel Museum have elevated the common and unique images and expressions of the students into a powerful work of art.

The Think Show will feature quality work from all content areas and the Stories Matter project. The event will showcase arts-integrated projects created by students from all grades. The event is intended to display and present student learning in the classroom, specifically critical 21st century skills including communication, collaboration and creativity. Much of the visual and performing art on display will include class projects created through collaboration with teachers and artists-in-residence in the areas of mask-making, rhythmic dance, creative writing and more.

“The inspiration of Stories Matter is that the more we know ourselves and one another, the safer it becomes to show up and express our own spark of the extraordinary in our own voice,” said Jan Nadav, Mizel Museum’s Director of Education and Interpretation. “When this happens, our schools become not just schools, but communities of learners that house the mosaic of our different beliefs, perspectives, and dreams.”

About the Mizel Museum
The Mizel Museum is a Denver’s Jewish art, history and culture museum. Exhibits, events and educational programs offer interactive experiences that intercultural understanding. The museum is located at 400 S. Kearney Street, Denver, where visitors can tour the new permanent exhibit, 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks, a dynamic journey through art, artifacts and digital media that narrates and illuminates Jewish history and culture. For more information visit http://www.mizelmuseum.org or call 303-394-9993.

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Sue Stoveall
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