Dozens of West Dallas students danced and played ukuleles at the AT&T Performing Arts Center last month in a luau complete with hula dancing, shaved Kona ice, and pineapple and ham pizza! It was all part of the Center’s community engagement program – ArtsBridge – Powered by Toyota.
“Thank you ArtsBridge,” said Debbie Solis, Director of Family & Community Services for Voice of Hope Ministries, a faith-based community service organization in West Dallas. “A wonderful summer event. Praise God for bringing laughter and fun to all the kids. Good medicine!”
Over several months, local teaching artists conducted ukulele classes at West Dallas community centers. The Center’s ArtsBridge program provided students with their own ukulele, all of this without cost thanks to Toyota. Then on July 28, they all came to the Wyly Theatre for a master class and concert with the Grammy-Award winning group, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, including a hilarious song about Paletero Man! This was followed by hula lessons by the Grace Hula Dance Company, where the kids all got up to show their moves! Also on hand to cheer on the kids was Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Omar Narvaez who represents West Dallas on the Dallas City Council.
“To see so many of our kids learning and playing the ukulele, singing about the Paletero Man and then shaking it all out with the hula dancers was incredibly inspiring and fun,” said Council Member Narvaez. “ArtsBridge has been a great boost to our community!”
Participating community centers included Anita Martinez Recreation Center, Jaycee Zaragoza Recreation Center, West Dallas Boys and Girls Club, Wesley-Rankin Community Center, and Voice of Hope Ministries.
The ArtsBridge program is supported through a grant from Toyota!