Immigration Portraits: Voices from Denny 2015

Denny International Middle School students and staff come from diverse backgrounds and represent many nations. For our fourth year of producing radio documentary pieces with 8th graders at Denny, we were asked if we could work with their Spanish Immersion students. Washington state history students, working with immersion teachers Liz Olson and Leticia Clausen and Jack Straw Writer Claudia Castro Luna, interviewed students, staff, and community members in Spanish, capturing their immigration stories. They then recorded and produced their stories in the studio with bilingual vocal coaches Kerry Skalsky and Ana Maria Campoy and engineers Daniel Guenther and CJ Lazenby. Special thanks to Monica De La Torre for language support.

In March, Denny students presented two workshops about this project at the 1st Annual Global Issues Network Conference at Chief Sealth International High School. Student participants in the workshops interviewed each other to practice their interview skills and learn more about the others attending the conference.

Immigration Portraits: Voices of Denny was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center and students from the eighth grade Dual Language Spanish Immersion program at Denny International Middle School in Seattle, Washington in the spring of 2015. Special thanks to Denny teachers Liz Olsen, Leticia Clausen, Denny librarian Jeff Treistman, Jack Straw writer Claudia Castro Luna, 4Culture King County Lodging Tax Fund, the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Denny International Middle School for making this program possible. Original music by Jack Straw resident artist Victor Noriega.

Jack Straw artist team: Claudia Castro Luna: staff producer/lead artist; CJ Lazenby: Engineer/trainer; Daniel Guenther: Engineer/trainer; Kerry Skalsky and Ana Maria Campoy: Vocal coaches; Levi Fuller: Web designer; Joan Rabinowitz: JS Executive Director/project director. Thanks to Denny staff Ellen Lew (8th Grade History) and Jeff Treistman (Library Media Specialist)


Claudia Castro Luna - Portrait

Claudia Castro Luna

Claudia Castro Luna is an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellow (2019), WA State Poet Laureate (2018 – 2021) and Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet (2015-2018). She is the…

Victor Noriega - Portrait

Victor Noriega

Award-winning composer/keyboardist Victor Noriega has been described as having “the sensitivity of Bill Evans, the propulsion of Horace Silver and the experimentation of Thelonious Monk,” while his compositions…