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For the last two summers, I have directed the Getty-sponsored "Kutztown
Seminar for Art Educators: Inquiry, Community, and Curriculum," the focus
of which has been on the ways in which art teachers and their students
can be involved in substantive ways with their communities. I offered a
graduate-level course in conjunction with the Seminar. Teachers who took
the course were required to create units of study for use in their own
programs. Many of them are really fine. We also focused upon
contemporary art-makers who deal with social concerns (race, ethnicity,
gender, class, economics, violence, healing, ecology, etc.) and who work
collaboratively with members of the community. Much of what we did in one
intense week could be expanded for a semester-long course.
I don't want to write a long entry here, but I certainly am happy to
share some of what we did with you or others. I also can recommend two
books that we gave to our participants: Mapping the Terrain: New Genre
Public Art, by Suzanne Lacy, and Contemporary Art and Multicultural
Education, edited by Susan Cahan and Zoya Kocur. Both books give many
examples of contemporary artists dealing with these issues. The second
book also has 43 lesson plans.
The three of us who were the Seminar faculty (Kristin Congdon, John
White, and I) are scheduled to present an overview of the Seminar at the
NAEA conference in New Orleans. (not sure of the day and time)
This is a topic that really interests me. I just returned from a
symposium on Performance Art, Culture, and Pedagogy, held at Penn State.
Suzanne Lacy was there and showed videos of some of the community-based
work she has done. Much of what she and others have done on a large
scale could serve as models of what can happen in the schools (with
adaptations and modifications).
Let me know if you want more info.
Marilyn Stewart, Art Education, Kutztown University
Kutztown PA 19530 stewart@kutztownedu 610 683 4517