Lab Session Descriptions

Lab #1

How might we cultivate a culture of reflective practice in our community?


Artistic media and methods offer us a broad range of expressive opportunities. When leveraging the arts we can reach a larger audience; we can also engage and consider a larger community of perspectives when reflecting and designing systems and programs in our work. This workshop offers participants time and space to consider how they might cultivate a culture of reflective practice in their community or work settings. Using modes of artistic expression -- 2D, 3D, digital, written, performative etc -- we will explore this challenge.How might expressive languages support you to bring multiple voices to the table? What already established elements of your work culture would support this type of approach? What might be the barriers? What are the possibilities? What are the next steps?

How can we utilize Artists to learn about inclusion, diversity and equity?


Join staff members from the Access and Leadership Unit from the University of Missouri, (the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity) as they share content from their BackTALK curriculum. This learning lab will address issues of inclusion, diversity and equity by starting with an artist profile, an example of their work, and in depth analysis of what can be gleaned about that particular social justice topic from the art work. We will utilize Project Zero's Visible Thinking routines to make learning and understanding visible to participants. Participants will also be asked to participate in hands on activities inspired by the artists discussed in the lab.

How can arts integrated project based learning play a role in the healing of a city in turmoil?


How and why must we connect our communities inside and outside of our cities? How can we as educators create projects that empower students to step outside of the ivory tower and do more than "study" urban problems? How can an arts integrated approach to education help us move a few inches toward a world in which we would enjoy living?This session will describe the UMBC Kinetic Sculpture Project as an upper level arts-integrated course that partnered with local schools in Baltimore as well as the American Visionary Arts Museum downtown to design, build and race kinetic sculptures from recycled materials. Session participants will bring their experiences with arts integrated STEM (or STEAM) projects to share with each other, and will propose a new project that addresses a pressing social issue in their city.

How Do We Rewire the Circuits of Dispossession by Re-Imagining and Re-Positioning Youth as Next Generation Arts Educators, Leaders, and Policy-Makers?


Representatives from Forward Arts and Humanities Amped, two grassroots community organizations located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, traveled last spring to witness the inter-generational teaching and learning happening in the Andover Bread Loaf program. We came home with a renewed desire to decolonize our youth educational spaces in ways that truly invite young people to step into leadership roles. This lab invites participants to work with us to recognize and see beyond the circuits of dispossession and privilege that create structural barriers for youth who have been systematically denied access to equitable participation. We will use the vocabulary of Image Theater, a Boal-based performance method, to elicit the pragmatic and imaginative wisdom of participants as we make connections to issues of equitable participation across the various institutions that make up the Arts in Education field.

Lab #2

A Reimagined Future: As incarcerated young people are reintegrated into society, the transformative power of art education opportunities must be made readily accessible to them. What does it mean to create a society where all young people have access to the arts and art education and how will we get there?


This Lab will be hosted by Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE), a New York-based community organization that amplifies the voices of young people using the visual arts. Studies have repeatedly show that young people of color in public schools are disproportionately affected by the lack of exposure to the arts in their communities. For this reason, we are interested in mobilizing with and learning from others in order to advocate for funding that will directly impact the lives of young people of color, particularly public school students and formerly incarcerated young people being released back into their communities. We believe that the arts can be used as a healing and restorative tool in the face of injustice and traumatic human rights violations. All young people deserve access to human rights education, to experience culture and art, and to further their leadership within their own communities. Together, in this Lab, we will explore both questions and discuss the possibilities for a reimagined future, where access to the art education is a reality.

Cross-Disciplinary and Cross-Cultural Collaboration in the Arts: Examining the Challenges and Opportunities


To understand how the arts can be promoted as a critical force in the fight for justice requires a deep understanding of what equitable, artistic collaboration can be in practice. This lab yearns for a deeper dive into the challenges and opportunities that cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural artistic collaborations offer. Participants will discuss, create, devise, and through various forms of collaborations, offer insights into how their artistic training, practices, and backgrounds and their individual and collective cultures inform their modes of creating, aesthetics, values, ways of communicating, and the work they produce together. With participants, we hope to start creating a more robust and nuanced way of identifying, discussing, and embracing the challenges and opportunities these types of collaborations provide. This exploration is the beginning of a larger body of work Amanda and Carolyn are creating in investigating the challenges and opportunities within cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural artistic collaborations, which will hopefully be a tool for creating more equity, justice, and inclusion in approaching these types of artistic collaborations.

Dis/Orientations: Mapping whiteness in educational spaces


How is institutional whiteness expressed in sounds and smells, ways of moving and stopping (for and by whom), written and unwritten rules, futures and histories? Writing on the lived spatial and bodily experience of whiteness, philosopher Sara Ahmed teases apart the dynamics of invisibility and hypervisibility that shape white spaces. She argues, “Whiteness is only invisible for those who inhabit it, or those who get so used to its inhabitance that they learn not to see it, even when they are not it (see Ahmed, 2004b). Spaces are orientated ‘around’ whiteness, insofar as whiteness is not seen.” One of the conditions of white space then, is a collective turning away from whiteness. Educational institutions (schools universities, museums, and nonprofits) are dominated by white bodies and are often described as white spaces (Voon 2015; U.S. Department of Education 2016). In this Lab, we will use drawing, dialogue, and movement to turn towards whiteness in educational spaces and bear witness to the ways it influences our work as teachers and learners. Working with the personal cartographies of our institutions and a range of mapping practices, we will trace the habits of institutional whiteness and the ways our bodies--stances/shapes/postures--inhabit them.

Are We Good: Hip Hop Pedagogy and Affirmative Epistemologies


Hip hop pedagogy is an emerging toolset in urban education, particularly in work with boys of color. In this lab, we investigate how various hip hop artists make knowledge claims about sexual interest in their lyrics. Participants will work together to evaluate if and how hip-hop artists were certain, or if the evidence they used is insufficient to support affirmative consent. The lab concludes with collaborative lyrical poem writing about sexual consent.