World Culture in Context takes students on a virtual field trip by connecting them with renowned performing artists and community tradition-bearers from across the globe. Through this dynamic program, students experience participating artists in the places that have profoundly shaped their work. Participants have the opportunity to engage with these artists in live dynamic conversations about creativity, belonging, and culture. World Culture in Context encourages students to look outwardly at the world’s distinct cultural expressions in order to create new pathways of understanding and gain enhanced perspective and appreciation of cultural traditions that thrive in their own lives and communities.

Participating artists in World Culture in Context have included Jontavious Willis, a young Delta Blues master of Greenville, Georgia; a master percussionist, Kim So Ra, of Seoul, Korea; the Legendary Ingramettes of Richmond, Virginia; Bronx, New York-based salsa band, La Excellencia; Tuvan (region in Siberia) throat singer Bady Dorzhu; and Ethiopian dance ensemble, Fendika. CCV intends to expand the artist roster to include at least twenty tradition-bearers in total by the end of 2021.

Classroom teachers of participating schools receive a professionally produced video of a renowned, culturally distinct artist demonstrating community-based performance and practice in traditional context. The viewing takes place in advance of an artist joining students live via Zoom (or a similar school-approved platform) for an engaging conversation that explores the artist’s culture and craft. The virtual visiting artist session provides an opportunity for students to connect with artists and better know them as performers and keepers of community-based cultural practice. Conversations are tailored to particular age groups and guided by experienced educators who provide further context with their deep knowledge of an artist’s work. Along with the video and live virtual visit, teachers receive grade-appropriate learning guides as well as pre- and post-visit lesson plans and activities.