On February 7th, 2012, the Indiana Arts Council helped facilitate an outreach event held by the Lively Arts of Indiana University of Pennsylvania featuring Creole musicians Cedric Watson and Desiree, two members of the five person band known as Bijou Creole. Approximately 82 elementary students from 4th grade classes at Eisenhower and Horace Mann attended the event, where they and their teachers listened to, learned, and asked questions about Creole music. Cedric Watson—the vocalist, leader, and creator of Bijou Creole—played several pieces for his young audience on the accordion while accompanied by Desiree on another instrument, allowing time for students to ask questions following each piece. He talked about the historical and cultural origins of Creole music, and also talked about the historical significance of the instruments he and Desiree were each playing. His performance even touched on the topic of language, as he introduced certain Creole words in his song titles and explained which French words they were each based on.
The event was organized as a part of the IUP ArtsPath Education Outreach program, and the Indiana Arts Council helped facilitate the day of the event by bringing students onto the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus. The students who came were eager and highly engaged in the performance, and asked many questions of the two musicians. Through the unique style of his Creole music, Cedric Watson helped introduce students and teachers alike to a new culture and history they may have never known of before.
To learn more about the Lively Arts and Cedric Watson, visit the Lively Arts Ovations! webpage through this link: www.iup.edu/livelyarts/series/ovations/default.aspx.