Responding to Your Community through Haiku is a collaboration between Arts Corps and Sound Transit to help the communities of South Seattle explore their identities and neighborhoods through this uniquely reflective art form. The curriculum that follows was developed by Arts Corps with the aim of engaging community members in responding to their surroundings through poetry. The curriculum draws inspiration from renowned local artist Roger Shimomura’s sculpture “Rainier Valley Haiku”, a work of public art commissioned by Sound Transit for Othello Station on the new Central Link light rail line. Shimomura has modeled his sculpture on the form of a haiku to portray the culture and historical memory of Rainier Valley communities.
This curriculum represents one facet of Arts Corps’ partnership with Sound Transit. During the 2007-2008 school year, Sound Transit also sponsored two Arts Corps classes at Aki Kurose Middle School to allow students to capture the images and emotions that define their homes and lives: “The Poetry of Cultural Identity”, taught by Matt Gano, and “Community Backdrop: Digital Storytelling”, taught by Tina LaPadula and Vesna Pavlovic. As Sound Transit prepares to open Central Link in 2009, Responding to Your Community through Haiku presents residents of Seattle an expressive artistic medium to appreciate and reflect on their neighborhoods and culture in the midst of change.