In 2013, our two-person travel team was awarded $10,000 from the Global Rural Trust to travel abroad and bring back international experiences to their Art and Gifted classrooms. Our grant was entitled From Appalachia to Art Application and we traveled to France, Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Turkey to study the connection between European/Mediterranean Art and the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Tradition. "In Appalachian culture, there is a great pride in passing down the tradition of making arts/crafts in which our students can relate." To make real world connections between generational learning, they investigated the guild and systems of art/craft education from European/Mediterranean cultures and planned interactive, hands on activities for students at our school.
As travel fellows, we found that our work was not complete once we returned from our experience. Our poster presentation will be a visual presentation to engage our audience in the culmination of four years of creating, implementing, and enacting lessons through sharing our travel experiences by retelling stories, showing photographs, and videos of our travels, live demonstrations of arts and crafts techniques, and completing hands-on projects with our students, our Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade students were able to and investigate and explore fiber art such as quilting, embroidery and weaving, mosaics, stone carving, painting, and sculpture. By examining the arts and crafts of Europe and the Mediterranean and comparing these to arts and crafts created in Appalachia, our students strengthened learning about themselves as Appalachians, generational learning, and preserving Appalachian arts and crafts culture.