Left to right, Meg Barthelemy, Maggie Huston and Maddy Pollard show their tissue paper flowers made at Willard's Passport to the Arts.Photos by Katie Barthelemy

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About 150 people attended Willard Elementary School’s annual “Passport to the Arts” on Jan. 23, at which they imagined traveling the world to learn about cultures and the arts that express them.

At the start of the voyage, children received a “passport book” of empty pages. Kids were to fill up the pages with stamps just like real travelers. At each stop on the journey, students did an art project connected with a region or culture and received a corresponding stamp in their passport.  They made paper flowers at their art-table “layover” in Mexico, used henna in India, made good luck banners in China, bottle sand art in Brazil, petro glyph sandpaper art in Africa and Indian dream catchers back in the United States. The children learned about the important relation of art to culture and heritage. 

Mariachi Northwestern, composed of Northwestern college students, performed during the first half of the evening as well.  The show gave the kids and families an exciting introduction to Mexican music and unique instruments.