Designing curricula with
an impact


About Us

This project combines place-based curriculum design, interdisciplinary collaboration between art and civics education, and the activation of local histories and current events.

Our aim is to support the development of a civically engaged art education, which revises and updates the term civics itself.

We ask: How might a civics education curriculum use art to become responsive to, inclusive of, and in the service of communities whose status as civic actors is frequently called into question? 


The Building Blocks


Through embodied practices, art inquirers can situate themselves in the local histories, stories, and issues of their community.


Material reflections guide students through a process of asking critical questions, and generating a response.


This process opens doors for participants to engage with a broader community, in support of action for social change.

The Foot Soldiers


The team

This project was initiated by Dr. Sara Scott Shields and Dr. Rachel Fendler, both professors of Art Education at Florida State University.

We have worked along the way with a number of dedicated and talented graduate and undergraduate research assistants.

The project is currently expanding with the participation of classroom teachers throughout the United States.

Latest Projects


CEAE in Action

Curriculum Design


With funding from FSU’s Institute of Politics, we embarked on a collaborative curriculum design experience focused on bridging what we learned in the summer intensives with real-world secondary classroom application. We brought together pairs of arts and social studies teachers from across the east coast for three months to design and share art+civics curriculums. Click the info button to register for the upcoming webinar series that shares their work

Summer Intensive


In the Summer of 2019, we hosted the second meeting of middle and high school students from across Tallahassee. With a new group of teens, we explored the state archives, visited FAMU’s Black archives, interviewed key stakeholders from the Civil Rights Movement, visited key locations, and talked to local artists. The week was filled with small-scale artmaking and culminated with the creation of a finished piece. Click to see images of students in action!

Summer Intensive


In the Summer of 2018, with funding from the Arts and Humanities Program Enhancement Grant at FSU, we hosted middle and high school students from across Tallahassee.  During the week-long intensive, teens explored the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Tallahassee.  The week culminated in artmaking that explored teens’ personal connections to the movement and how it impacts them today.  Click to watch a video of students exploring Tallahassee.

Latest News


From the News

NAEA 2023 Art Workshop

See a presentation and resulting artwork for our NAEA 2023 workshop on Mapping the Civil Rights Movement - A Mixed Media Encounter with Living History.

Unit Plan: Community Mapping – A creative encounter with living history

Community Mapping: A creative encounter with living history This unit engages students in archival, historical and artistic research, as they study social movements, and their

Making art + Global Inter-Connections at the Smithsonian

We’re looking forward to participating in an upcoming webinar hosted by the Smithsonian Institute Digital Learning Lab and the Smithsonian Institute Asian Pacific American Center!

Funding provided by

Arts & Humanities Program Enchancement Grant

2018-2020. Council on Research & Creativity. Florida State University.