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Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs.
                                                              —Thomas Wolfe

The Importance of Attending Cultural Events

Understanding the culture of a nation, people, or group—the arts, beliefs, customs, practices, values, and social behaviors—lies at the heart of HISP. By attending cultural events, a HISP student experiences firsthand the diverse offerings of culture and artistic expression found in a community.

Education cannot happen just at school—it must go beyond the walls of the classroom. Watching a play performed live is quite a different experience than reading a play from a book. Through attendance at events, HISP students broaden their horizons and gain unique insights into their own communities as well as a broader global perspective of our world’s diverse cultures.

Cultural Events Guidelines

All HISP students are required to attend three cultural events per quarter and to document their experiences using the Cultural Event Reflection Form. Students submit their forms to their HISP literature teachers no later than the end of each quarter. Parents and students need not spend a fortune attending events—there are many no- and low-cost activities that fulfill the requirement.

Students are encouraged to attend a wide variety of cultural events and, in that way, gain an important glimpse into life beyond C. K. McClatchy High School. See Cultural Events Opportunities for a list of upcoming activities to expand your cultural horizons. Or check the HISP bulletin board for postings of upcoming events.

Definition of a Cultural Event

For HISP purposes, a cultural event must be a “live” event and one that is of high quality. Listed below are characteristics of what is—and what is not—considered a cultural event. If you are considering attending a particular event and are not sure if it meets your HISP requirement, consult your literature teacher.

For HISP, qualified cultural events include:

  • A live performance of music, dance, drama, or poetry recitation.
  • A visit to an art gallery or museum.
  • Lectures related to the humanities.
  • Sanctioned activities of the HISP Council such as after-school activities or evening art performances.

The following are not HISP-qualified cultural events:

  • Films
  • Listening to music on a tape, CD, iPod, or other listening device
  • Street musicians playing at shopping malls or other informal venues
  • Elementary or middle school performances
  • TV shows pertaining to the arts
  • Restaurants with ethnic food
  • Church festivals (regardless of whether music is involved)
  • Shopping mall arts and crafts shows
  • Art work displayed in a restaurant or business other than a gallery or museum

Reflecting on Your Cultural Event Experiences

After attending a cultural event, a student must write a reflective piece about the experience. Each student should check with his or her literature teacher for due dates and specific grading criteria. Using the Cultural Events Reflection Form, present the following:

1. Give a brief description of the event.
Describe what you did (“I went to the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum.”) and when. Attach a ticket stub, program, or brochure, if possible.

2. Explain why you chose to attend the event. Make a connection between the event and the events in your own life, the world around you, or something about which you are learning in school.
Relate what you thought of the museum exhibit, play, dance, or poetry reading. How did it make you feel? How did it relate to your studies, your life, your dreams, and your ambitions? Do not write that you were tired or your feet hurt or there was an annoying person reading all the little signs at the museum—write about how you reacted aesthetically or emotionally to your experience.

3. Explain what you liked or disliked about the event and why. Would you recommend the event to a friend? Why or why not?

Teacher Input Regarding Cultural Events

Each literature teacher has the right to require specific criteria with regard to attendance at cultural events. What is standard and uniform among HISP classes is the number of events required—three per quarter. A HISP student should always defer questions about cultural events to his or her literature teacher.

Summer Cultural Events Credit

For many HISP students, summer presents both time and opportunity to experience a wide range of cultural events—from nearby venues to faraway travel locations. During the summer, HISP students may earn credit for up to six cultural events and apply those to the fall semester (first two quarters of the school year). Cultural events for the spring semester (last two quarters of the school year) must be done during that semester.

 
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Sacramento City Unified School District