Culture Week Was a Second Year Success

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Lydia McNanney, Copy Editor

The week-long event provides a space for students to listen to speakers and to share their own experiences, as well as showcase relevant pieces done by South student artists, and according to SEEDS facilitator, Siena Weisbrodt ‘21 this discussion is incredibly important to have.

“I think specifically in a place like Grosse Pointe it’s something that we have to focus on,” Weisbrot said. “In a place that’s so predominantly white, we need students to be exposed to other cultures in order to see their own privileges and the differences between their identity and other people’s identities.”

Culture week entailed an impressive line-up of daily events including a dialogue day, a guest speaker and a movie night– all of which could be attended by any interested students according to SEEDS advisor Lisa Kline.

“We try to do something each day, and we make it available to the student body,” Kline said. “Both years we’ve had a guest speaker and a dialogue day which has been our most popular and successful event.”

According to SEEDS facilitator Zaria Jones ‘22, this year’s speaker was visual artist Vito Valdez who spoke about the importance of artwork and how it can be used to express values and personal experiences.

“What really stuck with me from (the guest speaker’s) presentation was the importance of art in the youth,” Jones said, “Just like the importance of expression in art and the effects it can have on society was a point of his that really resonated with me.”

According to Lisa Kline, attendance was significantly lower than last year’s culture week, but she and other members of the club have credited the turnout to the year’s unusual circumstances.

“I think the lower turnout was due to the situation with COVID, and the fact that the dates for culture week were rescheduled last minute,” Kline said. “Not that that takes away the meaning and the value of the event, it can just be a little harder to facilitate when numbers are small.”

To increase student involvement in the event Kline said that art and english departments were asked to have students submit work regarding culture in order for it to be displayed during the week.
“This year SEEDS was in contact with the art and english departments to encourage students to put together pieces of writing or artwork that spoke to issues of social justice, identity, or other topics of that nature,” Kline said.

Culture week has only occurred the past two years, but according to Jones, it is expected to become a staple in the SEEDS calendar.

“Culture week just embodies the purpose of SEEDS, and the heart of culture week reflects what the average week of SEEDS feels like,” Jones said. “Every week we have a different dialogue about different cultures and identities and things that maybe we haven’t experienced that others have, and then we have an open conversation.”