James and I had the awesome privilege of attending the Ilam Primary School’s Wearable Arts show this week.
Since arriving at her New Zealand elementary school, Charlotte has been working with her teacher and classmates on costumes and group choreography, all in preparation for today. In fact, all 500+ students at the school participated; the classes were divided roughly by grade levels into three different performances.
The overarching theme for the wearable arts performance was “Past, Present, Future,” which could obviously be interpreted quite broadly.
Well, we discovered today, from watching the other classes’ performances, that Charlotte’s teacher is a brave, brave man. He let all 20-plus 4th graders choose and make their own costumes. And then he worked with them as a group to help all of the ideas “hang together,” as he put it talking with us after the show.
There were molecules and an alchemist, trees and tigers, a knight and a robot, and our very own American President.
That’s right: our little American girl brought the White House to Christchurch.
Charlotte designed her own costume and we did not get to see it until the day of the show. Her “wig” to look like George Washington was made from fuzzed up cotton balls and painted toilet paper rolls. She wore a sandwich board that said “Vote for Freedom” with two ballot slots where you could put a paper for “YES” or “NO.”
Our little girl looked nervous when it was her turn to come to the front of the stage (and there were a LOT of people in the audience!), but she smiled when she spotted us.
And when she turned around on stage, I saw that she had printed out an image of Mount Rushmore (4 presidents for the price of one!), President Obama, President Kennedy, and a big one of Vice President Biden.
I laughed until I had tears in my eyes. There was something so funny about seeing Joe Biden’s face on the back of a costume in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Witnessing the students proudly and thoughtfully acting their parts on stage in costumes entirely of their own making was just so cool. James and I both felt inspired by the next generation, these little people who are so creative, passionate, and smart.