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Sun, Sept. 19

Artist arrives this Friday from China

Mei-Kui Chan Cruise will arrive in Williams Friday as part of the Arizona Artist in Residence program at the Williams Elementary-Middle School. Cruise, a 27-year-old veteran of Chinese culture, visual and performing arts instruction, was selected as the 2008 artist. The program will end Dec. 19.

The goal of the residency is to introduce Chinese culture, art, dance and customs to all elementary level youth. The artist will teach Chinese culture and arts through instruction in Chinese language through folk tales and poetry and Chinese art forms through origami paper folding, calligraphy, rice paper mask making and the Marshall Arts (Kung Fu Gans). Youth will be also be engaged in learning Chinese songs and dance movements, such as those associated with the Ribbon Dance.

"I enjoy teaching people of other cultures about my culture and customs. The biggest part of my culture that I share and emphasize to them is respect of others, such as elders, teachers and everyone in authority," said Cruise.

The Artist is Residence Program is a grant awarded to the Williams Unified School District by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Their funding comes from the legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Fifth graders at WEMS will be the main recipients of the artist's time. Teachers Chris Mills and Megan Tabor and their students will share their art form through a performance for parents and the community the evening of Dec. 18 in the school auditorium.

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