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Lesson Plans

Re: Art and Economic Justice Ideas

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Sears, Ellen (
Tue, 04 Mar 97 10:49:00 PST

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I'm not sure what you mean - but this article stuck out in my mind:
July/August 1994

'An unusual sewing project emphasizing the inequalities of women's wages in
the garment industry was part of an exhibition at the New Museum of
Contemporary Art in New York City. For 28 days in public view, Berlin artist
Regina Frank sewed pearls onto a silk gown. Each day, she received the
average current hourly wage paid in a different country. "I wanted to do a
project related to the situation of women in sweetshops." Frank's hourly
wages were as low as the $.20 paid in Indonesia and $.65 in Columbia. Her
American wages of $6.95 were condiderably lower than the highest rate of
$17.10 received by Norwegian garment workers. Every day, the artist bought
a loaf of bread and two flowers with a percentage of the day's wages. The
quality of the bread and flowers further revealed global variance in the
compensation for women's labor. Symbolizing two kinds of sustenence (food
for body and soul), they referred to an old rallying song of the
International Ladies Garment Workers Union, 'Bread and Roses.'...
... The completed gown from the New Museum of Contemporary Art exibition was
auctioned on April 24, 1994, at Rockefeller Center for $7000."

Maybe it is something you could adapt...
REPLY FROM: Sears, Ellen


My community will be hosting a week long festival of activities which
focus on the theme of "Art and Economic Justice" at the end of April. My
middle school (7th and 8th grade) has decided to participate by taking 3
days out of our regular schedule to focus on the theme and the issues
inherent within the theme. Students will be divided into new multiage
groups (approx. 75 per group) with teachers assigned to each. The
teachers' job is to create and facilitate student activities around the
pre-scheduled "anchor activities." My group (4 teachers) will focus
primarily on arts activities, and I'm looking for some ideas from this
group's collective wisdom and experience. Any ideas at all will be

Brattleboro Area Middle School
Brattleboro, VT

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