Socially Engaged 

Art Class

Although my class focus and work often directly engages with community I realized that a more in depth community engaged class would be of great interest and benefit to both my students and myself. I encouraged MacArthur Fellow Rick Lowe and Socially Engaged Art pioneer to apply to a The Breeden Scholarship program offered through our college, and began to plan this important class. 

 

Once the class was informed on the theories of this type of art we canvased our community for partners. So many great opportunities presented themselves, but in the end we partnered with Safe Haven, a forward thinking after school program in the neighboring city of Tuskegee, Alabama.

 

Co-teaching with Rick was a pleasure, yet instructing a class of this depth in one semester was a challenge. In the end we created videos, a publication, paintings and performances, with each event using the content that the local youths had already been investigating. Tuskegee was one of the most volatile places during the civil rights movement. Instead of living in the shadow of this history, these children addressed it head on to find the stories that were missed while reexamining their past. 

Speak Easy Listen Hard
Speak Easy Listen Hard

Youth Interview with Civil Rights leaders, photographed by university student.

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Standing With Selma
Standing With Selma

Youths from Safe Haven re-enact the some of the major civil rights actions from their town of Tuskegee. University students helped them create videos of these sketches.

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Rick Lowe & University Student
Rick Lowe & University Student

This community engaged class was co-taught with MacArthur Fellow Rick Lowe. University students helped the Safe Haven Youths of Tuskegee create videos of their civil rights sketches.

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Safe Haven Students
Safe Haven Students

On location - Safe Haven Students

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Youth Newspaper
Youth Newspaper

University Students collected stories the youths of Safe Haven collected about the Civil Rights movement in their town. The publication included interviews, stories, drawings and games.

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Local Business Owner
Local Business Owner

The final event allowed local business owners the chance to get involved. Here the owner of the local jewelry business posses with handmade necklaces that showcased the event name and were sold as fundraisers.

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Shooting a Video
Shooting a Video

On location Youths from Safe Haven re-enact the some of the major civil rights actions from their town of Tuskegee. University students helped them create videos of these sketches.

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Sammy's Colorful Performance
Sammy's Colorful Performance

Flyer for the large final event, which held an exhibition, performances, activities, and fundraising auctions.

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Getting ready for the performance.
Getting ready for the performance.

University student helps youth get ready for the performance.

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