Takayuki Yamamoto and Rosa Parks Elementary School

Rosa Parks Elementary School marched on the Asian Art Museum on Friday!  For the second phase of Takayuki Yamamoto's "Children's Pride" project, Rosa Parks students took the placards they made in the classroom with the artist last Thursday and marched with them from their school to the museum. 

Each student had chosen a personal desire for positive change in their world and represented that desire on their placard.  Part of Yamamoto's artistic process is to work with school children from around the world on co-created art.  The Japanese artist's current project is entitled "Children's Pride," and he has been working with elementary school students to develop a personal desire through art, then advocate for their desire through a protest march with their classmates.

It was a swirl of color and activity as sixty students held up their protest signs and called out their personal slogans.  "No Guns!"  "Turn Into a Fairy!"  "Be a Better Reader!" and "Be a Ninja!" floated through the air.  The student march converged on the Asian Art Museum, which is hosting the San Francisco Unified School District's 27th annual Arts Festival this week.  The students from Rosa Parks Elementary school set aside their placards and joined the thousands of public school students this week to see the Arts Festival and the Terracotta Warriors.

Yamamoto is a natural in the classroom, talking easily with students about the images and words they're choosing to advocate for.  Although Yamamoto stresses that his process is not overtly political, he hopes participating in a simulated political process will stay with students.  "It is okay for them to be different, to want different things, and to advocate for them," Yamamoto says.  Through this project, Yamamoto hopes students will appreciate and advocate for their individual differences, and continue advocating for their personal desires in the future.