Culture Creates Community

Culture Creates Community is a collection of short, classroom-ready videos about artists and arts organizations that maintain or adapt traditional art forms, and build a sense of community through their art practices. Use this collection to illustrate content covered in World History and Social Studies classes, and to inspire meaningful visual and performing arts projects.

KQED Arts collections have been created to help educators find the best arts-focused PBS resources to enrich learning experiences and integrate the arts into classroom curricula of all subjects. 

  • Laurie Lewis Brings Berkeley Roots to Bluegrass

    Laurie Lewis is a San Francisco Bay Area bluegrass legend. The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist continues to craft a unique sound of her own while helping to guide the next generation of Bay Area roots musicians.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Photographer on a Mission: Ed Drew

    Ed Drew's tintype portraits of his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan evoked the timelessness of war. Once he returned to the United States, Drew turned his lens toward an organic garden project that's empowering at-risk youth.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Bridging Cultures with the Stroke of a Pen: Zubair Simab

    With his calligraphy, Zubair Simab seeks both to preserve the ancient art of beautifying Arabic texts and to build understanding among cultures. Zubair fled when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan at 17, eventually emigrating to the Bay Area. 

    Grades: 3-13+
  • The Art of Screaming in Color: Scape Martinez, Graffiti Artist

    Graffiti artist Edward Martinez adopted the alter-ego "Scape," as an acronym for "Screaming, Creative, and Positive Energy". That energy is evident both in his vividly pulsating paintings and in his work with under-served youth in East Palo Alto, California.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Santa Cruz Quilter Helps Piece Together the Lost Art of Hawaiian Kapa

    Kapa is the traditional Hawaiian cloth made from tree bark. Wendeanne Ke`aka Stitt makes kapa today using natural dyes and ancient techniques.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Cambodia's Dark Past Behind Her, A Dancer Steps into the Light

    Charya Burt trained in and taught classical Cambodian dance in Phnom Penh, where her family suffered oppression by the Khmer Rouge. Now in the Bay Area, she's passing on her art -- and pushing it in new directions.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Kei Lun Lion Dancers Find New Meaning in Ancient Steps

    There are several lion dance troupes in the Bay Area. What sets Kei Lun apart is the group's dedication to passing on ancient Chinese stories, told through the art of lion dance. In the traditional lion dance, props are used that represent different meanings. For example lettuce and tangerines, which are often hung for lion dancers to pluck (along with cash), represent prosperity; tangerines with stems represent the unity of the family. The props help tell the tale and present a puzzle the lion must solve for the dance to be successful.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Americana Music with American Nomad

    American Nomad is a band that keeps Americana music alive by mixing contemporary and traditional approaches. Join them as they share their approach to songwriting, recording, and performing.

    Check out the entire collection of KQED Art School videos!

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Chinese-Born Artist Ma Li Makes Treasure from Trash

    Crafted from recycled materials, Ma Li’s dream-like sculptures celebrate individual freedom, imagination and play. In Ma Li’s hands, clear plastic bottles transform into suspended fields of jellyfish-like sculptures, and colored foam and clothes hangers resemble migrating flocks of birds. With references to Chinese history, ecological concerns, ritual and fantasy, the San Francisco Bay Area-based visual and performance artist weaves unlikely materials into large-scale immersive environments, and brings them to life with choreographed movements.

    Grades: 6-12