Viewing cable 05MUSCAT375
Title: CELEBRATING CREATIVITY AT MUSCAT FESTIVAL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT3752005-03-05 09:45:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 000375 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), NEA/PPD (CWHITTLESEY), 
ECA/PE/C/CU (DSCHUMAN) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO KDEM PREL SOCI SCUL MU
SUBJECT:  CELEBRATING CREATIVITY AT MUSCAT FESTIVAL 
 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶1.  Embassy Muscat recently co-sponsored a month-long 
"Children's Art Workshop" at the Muscat Festival, attracting 
over 4,200 children and adults whose enthusiasm for this 
unique program augurs well for it becoming a permanent 
feature of the annual festival.  Forging new ties with 
Muscat Municipality and the Ministry of Education, Dr. Linda 
Bastian - the American artist and art educator who launched 
this innovative concept at last year's Festival - introduced 
a variety of new media and projects to children from almost 
200 Omani schools, offered "on-the-job" training to public 
school art teachers, and encouraged parents to celebrate 
their children's creative talents. End summary. 
 
------------------- 
BUILDING ON SUCCESS 
------------------- 
 
¶2.   With a 60% increase in participation over last year, 
the "Children's Art Workshop" was clearly a popular feature 
of the Muscat Festival.  In fact, because the program was so 
successful last year, when it was implemented by the Embassy 
in cooperation with the Omani Society for Fine Arts, 
Festival organizers (Muscat Municipality) took the lead on 
the sponsorship and logistics for this year's event while 
relying on Dr. Bastian to develop innovative art projects 
and provide on-site teacher training.  Described as 
"indispensable" by Muscat Municipality and working closely 
with the Director of Art for Muscat Public Schools, Dr. 
Bastian introduced activities that ranged from creating a 
life-sized camel from discarded soda cans to using mixed 
media for unique depictions of Oman's landscape and 
architecture. 
 
---------------- 
TEACHER TRAINING 
---------------- 
 
¶3.  A major benefit of Dr. Bastian's assignment was her 
daily interaction with the public school teachers who 
comprised the team of Workshop instructors.  With only 20% 
of their university courses devoted to studio work, art 
education graduates are ill-equipped for the classroom. 
"They are clamoring for help," the Director of Art for 
Muscat Public Schools said, as he encouraged Dr. Bastian to 
return and focus on in-depth teacher training.  Responding 
to this need, Dr. Bastian quickly developed a proposal for 
next year's Festival and discussed it with H.E. Dr. Mona al- 
Jardani, Undersecretary for Education, who praised Dr. 
Bastian for "all of the good things you've been doing for 
the Festival, the arts, and the children of Oman." 
 
--------- 
PUBLICITY 
--------- 
 
¶4.  The highlight of media coverage of the Art Tent was a 
segment on the Oman TV's nightly news, when Dr. Bastian was 
interviewed briefly as part of the Muscat Municipality 
festivities celebrating the children's artwork. In addition, 
she was interviewed by Oman radio, whose English FM program 
has an estimated audience of 500,000. 
 
BALTIMORE