Courtesy of KidsmART

Krewe of You: Make Mardi Gras Art With the Pros

09:00 January 15, 2021
By: Laurel Shimasaki

This Mardi Gras season is all about channeling new ways to carry on the creative spirit. KID smART—a local nonprofit that brings arts integration to the classroom and the community—is here to help. They're offering pay-what-you-can Zoom courses on music, float-building, dance choreography, and mask-making. The series was created for kids aged seven and up, families, and educators, but these virtual events are warmly open to all.

The Krewe of Rex and the Krewe of Muses kicked off the series with their doubloon-design activity, but no worries if you were absent that night. You've got plenty more chances to show up to discover and create. On Tuesday, January 19, Gregory Davis of Dirty Dozen Brass Band will be focusing on the melodic theme of helping you put together your own Mardi Gras beat. Next up, January 26 will bring the Krewe of King Arthur showing you how to build your dream float, in miniature. Following them will be the Camel Toe Lady Steppers, who will guide you through the motions on February 2. And finally, February 9 will have the Krewe of Red Beans bringing in the costume designers to help you craft a mask that suits your style.

The series will happen on Tuesdays, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and since it's online, anyone can join. So if you're missing your yearly trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you can still convene with Carnival culture-bearers.

From January 12 through February 9, sign up for as many hour-long classes as you're interested in on Eventbrite. Make sure to register in advance and check out the recommended supply list. We wouldn't want you showing up at marquette-making without a box or virtually walking into mask-making glueless.

All donations from the pay-what-you-can Zoom classes go toward KID smART's education programs, where they partner closely with New Orleans schools and educators. Together, KID smART'S staff and teaching artists are "catalysts for creativity." A recent project with Esperanza Charter School had second-grade students bookmaking. The endeavor combined social studies lessons with creative writing and visual art, and frankly, looked ridiculously fun.

For more arts-infused ways to teach kids about New Orleans's vibrant culture, check out their resource kits. The suggested age range on those is students from third to sixth grade, but truly, your inner child will be delighted by what you can learn. Ditto the Art + Food lessons and Art + Carnival reference photos. The latter puts design elements such as value scale and color theory to play while sketching your looks for next year. It's never too soon to start planning for when parades are back again.

For more information, go to

Courtesy of KidsmART
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