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Jack Straw and Seattle World School 2015

The Seattle World School provides middle and high school students who are new to the United States with a supportive learning environment where they can learn English while studying academics. Jack Straw has brought our arts & technology programs to the school since 2011, working with World School students from many different countries to help them strengthen their new English language skills, share their cultural traditions, and develop their technical skills.

Immigration Portraits at Seattle World School

Students from Erin Chen's three Washington State history classes created Immigration Portraits, a series of audio stories based on interviews the students conducted with each other about leaving their home countries to come to America. They talked about why they came to the US, what they had left behind, and how their lives had changed. Jack Straw's artist team trained the students to conduct interviews and helped them write questions that would bring out the students' individual stories. Producer Jennie Cecil Moore showed them the interview process by interviewing Daniella Drader, the school's enrollment specialist, about leaving Romania to come to the United States. Jack Straw artists Jennie Cecil Moore, Daniel Guenther, and Rachel Spence each worked with a group of students to develop questions and get ready for their interviews. Our engineers CJ Lazenby, Daniel Guenther, and Jake Muir worked with the students to record their interviews.

With the interviews recorded, the students worked with our teaching artists to select highlights from the interviews and write their narration. Our voice coaches Meg McLynn, Christine Brown, and Andrew McGinn coached the students in reading their narration out loud, providing the students with both language and performance support. Our engineers then joined the students and voice coaches to record their narration. Interview segments and narration were then edited and mixed in the Jack Straw studios to create the final audio stories. Students also created maps of the interviewees' home countries and took photographs to document the process.

Click here to view a photo gallery from this project.




Margarita Escobar (download audio here, stream below)

Margarita Escobar came to the United States from El Salvador. She was interviewed by her fellow students Elaf Ali, Michael Mugozi, Mulegata Tewolde, Damaris Michelle Garcia Ruiz, Meron Duchiso, Monaliza Mahray, and Jun Yi Li.

Jonathan Ibanda (download audio here, stream below)

Jonathan Ibanda came to the United States from Congo. He was interviewed by his fellow students Daniel Negash, Jorge Rivera, Nayeli Rodriguez Flores, Rui Bin Ruan, Xin Hua Cai, and Sadad Yogol.

Shu Yan Mei (download audio here, stream below)

Shu Yan Mei came to the United States from China. She was interviewed by her fellow students Rohawa Desta, Khalil Boudrissa, Axel Cruz Bruno, Kit Ying Cheung, and Yu Xin Zha.

Julio Domingo Jeronimo (download audio here, stream below)

Julio Domingo Jeronimo came to the United States from Guatemala. He was interviewed by his fellow students Abdullahi Jama, Abaas Hassan, Anes Meshala, Hao Jie Chen, Misael Rodriguez Saravia, and John Doan.

Teha Robole (download audio here, stream below)

Teha Robele came to the United States from Ethiopia. He was interviewed by his fellow students Ayman Mohamed, Yong Lin Chen, Bo Qiang Cui, Nayeli Echenique, and Mebrihit Fitiwi.

Jean-Paul Strelbee (download audio here, stream below)

Jean-Paul Strelbee came to the United States from Haiti. He was interviewed by his fellow students Cielo Martinez Archila, Zam Zam Meshalla, Pei Jie Zheng, Jing Yue Ma, and Lougua Quiahua Hernandez.

Habsa Yasin (download audio here, stream below)

Habsa Yasin came to the United States from Kenya. She was interviewed by her fellow students Adelmo Aguilar Rivas, Shewit Gebrehiwot, Su Qing Chen, Nafisa Dahir, Victor Alonso, and Nasteho Jama.

Than Nguyen (download audio here, stream below)

Than Nguyen came to the United States from Vietnam. He was interviewed by his fellow students Apinya Abrahamsen, Joshua Lopez Martinez, Fatou Hydara, Cuong Ouong, Shi Jun Chen, and Carelin Martinez Aguilar.

Eduardo Ojeda Leon (download audio here, stream below)

Eduardo Ojeda Leon came to the United States from Peru. He was interviewed by his fellow students Yordanos Alemayehu, Asha Hassan, Shih Chen Ke, and Ifrah Issack.

Special thanks to The Creative Advantage, the Washington State Arts Commission, 4Culture King County Lodging Tax Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts for making this program possible. Original music performed by Jack Straw resident artists The Jason Parker Quartet, from the album Five Leaves Left: A Tribute to Nick Drake.

Other World School projects:

  • Immigration Portraits (2019)
    World School students created a series of audio stories based on interviews the students conducted with each other about leaving their home countries to come to America.
  • Hear It from Me: American Dreams and Realities (2018)
    World School worked with Jack Straw's professional writer, vocal coaches, and audio engineers to write, perform, and record their own poetry about their experiences in America.
  • Seattle World School 2016-17 Projects
    During our 2016-17 arts & technology program, World School students from many different countries created audio pieces about the Bill of Rights and sounds of their homes, and studied guitar with Jack Straw artist Bill Horist.
  • Seattle World School 2014 Projects
    During our 2014 arts & technology program, World School students from many different countries participated in several projects to help strengthen their new English language and technical skills.
  • A World of Memories and Poetry Moments (2013)
    In two projects, World School students wrote and recorded original poetry and stories and produced CDs and a chapbook.
  • Health Talk (2012)
    Students from Seattle World School wrote, performed, created sound effects, and recorded dialogues about different health issues in the Jack Straw studios.
  • Poetry Moments (2012)
    Vietnamese high school students from Seattle World School worked with Jack Straw's professional writers, vocal coaches, and audio engineers to write, perform, and record their own poetry.
  • Food Talk (2011)
    Students from the SBOC (now Seattle World School) worked with a nutritionist from Seattle Children's Hospital and Jack Straw staff members to create public service announcements about healthy eating habits.

 

Photos by Nancy Peterfreund, Sherwin Eng, Jennie Cecil Moore, Rachel Spence, and Seattle World School students


      

 

For further information on our educational programs, contact:

Joan Rabinowitz, Executive Director
Jack Straw Cultural Center
206-634-0919

 


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