Last week I was lucky to be able to moderate two panels on Social Justice in Art Education at Art21’s very intriguing conference, Creative Chemistries Radical Practice for Art + Education. The conversations included artists, teachers, policy people, and community organizers all curious about the intersections between art and education. Check out Art21’s education resources for more information and read this write up on Hyperallergic.
I was thrilled to return to the Universidad de Jaén in Andulucía, Spain for a wonderful session about Social Justice Art Education. The graduate students in art, music, theater, and dance education asked provocative questions and entertained my broken Spanish with grace and humor.
I was delighted to participate in the Museum of Art and Design‘s professional development workshop for NYC teachers working in ALternative Learning Centers. I started my keynote on “Art and Transformative Education” with a drawing activity and ended with reflections on how art can provide a space for conversations about violence, racism, and inequality that can motivate young people to action. It was inspiring to hear the passion these committed educators have for their students.
Had so much fun learning from the very talented and creative teaching artists at the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program during a workshop I led on “Social Justice Art Education” on February 25, 2014. This tremendous group works with youth groups all over the city and had fantastic insights on what it means to be working artist-teachers trying to empower–not just direct–young people.
A quick snapshot before the doors opened to an invited lecture I gave on “Art and the Practice of Freedom” at Fontys University–a university with a strong art education program–in Tilburg, Netherlands on December 14th. In honor of Nelson Mandela’s recent passing, I focused the lecture on how his ideas of freedom echo those that artists and art-making can offer. The lecture was followed by a series of short discussion groups with graduate students in the art education program in honor of their Day for Art Education.
Back in lively Jaén, Spain for another lecture on Art, Community, Education, and Justice at the Universidad de Jaén. This time we created zines to explore concepts of critical pedagogy, empowering learners, and collaboration in social justice art education. With a few breaks for café con leche in between, we had provocative conversations about Roma audiences, the role of music in community building, and the possibilities of using visual art even if you’re “not an artist.”
We boarded a bus bright and early in NYC for MTS‘s first conference road trip to Baltimore for the annual meeting of the American Alliance of Museums. The teen participants wow’ed the international audience with their poise, professionalism, and insight into what works for teens in museums. Afterwards we explored Baltimore, paddled dragon boats in the harbor, and stuffed our bags with pens and post-its at the exhibition hall.
Looking sharp and sounding professional, the teens in Museum Teen Summit presented on Youth, Museums, and Building Community at the New York City Museum Educator’s Roundtable annual meeting. Sharing their ideas and research with a standing-room only crowd, the teens facilitated conversations about what it means to involve youth in museums.