Family Art Night: San Francisco Symphony AIM in the Evening with “Coastal Winds”

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ARTSED4ALL’s project “THE HUMMINGBIRD EFFECT” officially kicked off on Thursday, April 16th with a special Family Art Night performance sponsored by the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music program. “AIM in the Evening” is a program established by the San Francisco Symphony to allow parents and the greater school community to share the educational performances that the students experience during the day. Family were invited to enjoy a musical performance by Coastal Winds, a quintet of five instruments: flute, clarinet, bassoon, French horn and harp. This 45-minute program demonstrated the idea of musical storytelling to through an original fairy tale: “The Princess of Rhyme.” Harpist Meredith Clark delighted the audience, in her role as the Princess whose voice is stolen by the evil wizard.

A light fairy tale-inspired supper, featuring Mary Poppins’ Practically Perfect Tea Sandwiches, Peter Rabbit’s Mixed Greens Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds, Geppetto’s Tortellini and Alice’s “Eat Me” Cake, was prepared by chefs Megan Wong and Patrick Wu.

After the performance, families were invited to leave poems for the Princess of Rhyme in the newly constructed Fairy Village, created by students with the support of retired Rooftop Kindergarten teacher Mary Ann Cruz. Children are invited to leave nest-building materials such as yarn and tiny twigs for the birds in the tiny fairy homes. Families were also introduced to the focal species of birds that reside in Twin Peaks: the American Crow, the American Robin, the house finch, the house sparrow, the mourning dove, the peregrine falcon and the rock pigeon.

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In Technology class with instructor Andi Wong, Rooftop’s 3rd and 4th graders have been working together to establish a bird-friendly habitat in an area known as the “Mini-Garden,” thanks to a mini-grant from “Celebrate Urban Birds,” a program of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This new outdoor lab, poetically dubbed “Mountain Eye” by 3rd grader Cameron Budetti, gives students a place of their own where they can learn how to innovate with Nature, the greatest designer of all. Students are free to discover personal interests, as they collaborate with classmates, exploring the ways that technology can be used to transform ideas into real world action.

Students held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Waterfall Trading Company & Apple Tree Trading Company pop-up shops, student-led efforts to engage community recycling and repurposing. Families enjoyed the magical view from Raven’s Lookout, and the musical sound of conversation and laughter filled the air. The evening ended happily ever after, as the children of Rooftop School helped The Princess of Rhyme to find her voice once again.

If you see a fairy ring
In a field of grass,
Very lightly step around,
Tiptoe as you pass;
Last night fairies frolicked there,
And they’re sleeping somewhere near.

If you see a tiny fay
Lying fast asleep,
Shut your eyes and run away,
Do not stay or peep;
And be sure you never tell,
Or you’ll break a fairy spell.

— William Shakespeare

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