Tuesday, July 7, 2015

World Children's Festival @ Washington, D.C. (Jul 1, 2015)

The World Children's Festival is an annual celebration of creativity, diversity and unity, with participants from all over the world. The theme on Jul 1 was Creativity and Imagination, and Creativity Labs hosted a LED Light-Up Bookmark activity at one of the tents between 2-4pm. Sophia Bender, Anthony Phonethibsavads and Verily Tan helped close to 70 participants sew the Light-Up Bookmark on felt material. This consisted of an LED, and a battery holder. When the positive and negative lines have been sewn with conductive thread, putting a 3V battery into the battery holder causes the LED to light up. Children were fascinated, and excitedly sewed the lines for their LED to light up! Some children decorated their bookmarks with beads, sequins and fabric markers.
The event was indeed an international encounter for the facilitators - we had participants from Poland, Germany, China, and Korea. There were also Americans from across the country. Many children came with their parents, or mentors - and they made bookmarks together. It was a lovely sight to see mothers guiding their children with the sewing, following the instruction sheet or receiving help from the facilitators. We invited parents to create their own bookmark, and in many cases, both parent and child left with Light Up Bookmarks!
The children who participated were between 5-15 years of age, and it was interesting working with them. There was a group of girls from Tennessee who were performing at the Festival. One by one, they brought their friends and guided each other in the sewing. We were inspired by some of the very young children who were determined to sew and complete the Bookmark - we supported them, sometimes holding the felt material for them as they manipulated the needle and thread.
Reflecting on the two hour activity, we love the creativity and diversity of the children, and the inter-generational making. This really was a celebration of creativity, diversity and unity!

One of the well-decorated bookmarks!

Mother and daughter from California: Smiling with success!

Students from Tennessee who participated and guided each other through the process

Siblings from South Korea: Happy with their bookmark!

Winners of the Art Olympiad (from Poland) sewing with their teacher

With special thanks to the International Child Art Foundation for this opportunity!