AfricAztlan Recitation


After ten weeks of reading, writing, speaking, listening, editing, documenting and rehearsing, the youth recite selections of their original works at the Autry Museum  for The Heart Project. Watch performance clips from our last run through at school. Featured writers include: Gerson Lopez, Cannton Moore, Nuvia Martinez, Divine Stevens, Tatiana Quintanilla, Edward Galaviz, and Marc Lopez.

Rehearsal for AfricaAztlan Culmination


Click on this link to view the REHEARSAL VIDEO! 

Today was our final rehearsal for our culminating performance. I composed a culmination script of the artist’s works including their selected poems, the performance order, and the group and individual introductions.

We set up a backdrop for documenting the poems and introductions and recorded them all with a flipcam.

The group of writers did so well we decided to put together a short process video of thoughts and images from the rehearsal process. Then we did a live audio recording and inserted their commentary into the imovie of stills from the rehearsal process. We exported the video in quicktime and watched it together on the big screen in class.

The next time we meet with be on December 7 at 745 am. The Heart Project is sending a coach bus for the youth artists and their families to perform at the Gene Autry Museum. It has been a pleasure to work with such a wonderful learning community.

Group Poems – From Bilal to Biographies


Today we read, listened to, and discussed Bilal’s song “Who Are You?” We danced to him a little bit too.

Students wrote personal writing inspired by Bilal’s lyrics.

We then created group poems with excerpts from our individual compositions. They took on a new life of their own. Cannton said it was good to see the visual for the group rapport they were building in class. It’s a great thing to witness. The students read and listened to the group poems recited aloud.

Click Writing Group Poems to watch a video about the group poem activity.

We then eyed Bilal’s Artistic Biography, and began writing our own. I passed out a guide to writing an Artistic Biography using the following guidelines: ARTISTIC BIOGRAPHY

Edit Work / Film Work!


Today in class students worked on editing their compiled works and making choices about which pieces they would like to perform. We also focused on rehearsal strategies for the public performance. With the students permission, I uploaded our rehearsal videos to vimeo so we can share our work online.

Divine explained the editing and rehearsal process in this way,”Today we did some speaking out loud and editing our work to see if we were OK with how it was. I reread my piece and I like it, but there were some words that needed to be taken out of the piece to make it sound better. We also did some practice with recording and being filmed while you rehearse your piece.”

Marc summed up the process as follows: “Today we edited our writing and read it on camera. We worked on reading our writing with enthusiasm.”

Tatiana drew the distinction between editing writing for corrections versus editing to express a creative message: “Today I’ve learned to edit my writing not as a writer, but as an artist. Speaking in public has effected me in a good way. It gets me more confident. I’ve been more clear on how I want my project to be seen. If your poem is long you can take any sentence or paragraph out to have someone see the image you want them to see.”

This was Edward’s second class. He wrote, “Today we read out loud out stories and recorded how it sounds on video. We also did some editing on pieces to fix bad writing or grammar. Now I feel good sharing my stories in front of a whole group. At first I was nervous bit now since they showed me respect and comfort I don’t worry.

Here are some examples of the editing process:

During the filming, Nuvia was the stage manager. Cannton, Gerson, and Divine also helped to give ques and stage manage the group during the filming. Everyone performed and recorded an original work!



Big D performs \”Where the Queen Sleeps\”

Cannton reads \”This House Saved Us\”

Nuvia recites \”Kool Aide and Cake\”

Gerson performs \”Body Building Faith\”

Marc reads \”Uncertainty\”

Edward recites \”Peace\”

Diego recites \”Las Vegas\”

Allen reads from \”The Border\”

Tatiana performs \”Clear Blue\”

This House Saved Us


Tired from the past

not having a home

Glad no more sleeping alone

We burn sage to make a way

With my native pics

A thousand words to say

We have a laugh

and try to move fast

We was slowed down from incidents in the past

My home is sacred

Like my own reservation

My bed feels like my vacation

I hug my mom

And tell her thank you

It’s not much

but kept us in touch

I almost lost my family

This house saved us in a way

Seven strong

That’s how it’s gonna stay

Planet X


My place of interest is Planet X.  From what I heard, it is occupied by an alien race called the Annunaki. The plant is supposed to be the cause of 2012 because it comes into earth’s orbit ever 3600 years. I would like to visit the planet because maybe it holds the answers to religion and the creation of humans. The race on the planet has ancient hieroglyphics in Sumerio and Assyria which is now Iraq. According to research, they created us in their image and have genetically created the modern human with two genes, the genes of homo-erectus and Annunaki. They have wings, human bodies, with heads like birds, similar to figures of angels.