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Around the world at home

Molly Shore

Burbank children don’t have to leave home this summer to see how

other cultures sing, dance, act and paint.

Children up to 13 years old enrolled in this summer’s Arts


Experiences camp at the Creative Arts Center, and are learning not

only about the American art scene but also the arts of different

cultures, including Native American, African, Asian, Latino and



Senior Recreation Leader Alejandra Biolatto created the six-week

program, which includes passports for participants that are stamped

every week.

“Today more than ever, we need children to know about other

cultures so that they develop a tolerance for them,” Biolatto said.

“Art is a great way to learn.”

Monday marked the start of the Latino experience, in which the

children took cha-cha lessons and were entertained by conga drum


player Hector Garcia. Garcia was accompanied by his 12-year-old son, Erik, who played keyboard.

For Monday’s art project, the children made colorful Brazilian and

Chilean rain sticks out of cardboard tubing, nails and uncooked


Participant Alyssa Gonzales, 7, also attended last year.

“I like it because we do a lot of art here,” Alyssa said. “I’m

most confident in art. I do a lot of it at home and at school.”

William Behlendorf, 7, has attended every day since the first


class earlier this month, and is enjoying the experience so much he

even asked if classes could be on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s fun,” William said. “I enjoyed learning about the Native

American, African and Asian cultures.”

During the dance instruction, 11-year-old Stephanie Bonilla and

9-year-old Josh Caton paired up to do an impressive cha-cha.

When asked if he enjoyed dancing with a girl, Josh replied, “I

guess it was fun,” but hastened to say that he has no interest in

pursuing couples dancing.

Stephanie said she has danced before and didn’t find this hard.

“Josh was a good partner,” she said.