We’re very pleased to announce TWO publications reporting on the Tallahassee Foot Soldier project.
A Vision of Civically Engaged Art Education: Teens as Arts-Based Researchers
How might positioning teens as arts-based researchers create an opening for young people to be civically minded critical thinkers and makers?
Civic engagement is not just concerned with identifying societal and political structures. It is also concerned with how young people understand themselves as civic agents capable of starting and sustaining change. Seeing students as change makers is a civically engaged goal supported by literature surrounding the aims of art education in K–12 schools. Working in collaboration with local teens, we engaged in a week long art camp that facilitated teens’ inquiry into the legacy of foot soldiers in the civil rights movement in Tallahassee, Florida. Teens explored the people, places, and events that mobilized the community as they made connections with current events and created a collective portrait of change makers. In this article we explore the question: How might positioning teens as arts-based researchers create an opening for young people to be civically minded critical thinkers and makers?
#thefutureisnow: A Model for Civically Engaged Art Education
Let us not forget that young people are at work developing practices in their own lives that support them in creating the future for which they hope. In response to thinking about the future of curriculum, we propose to look at the future-oriented practices of youth and continue to take our cues from them.
Our provocation for the future of art education is to suggest that by directing the field toward civic engagement we can do more to intentionally harness young people’s drive to impact society. Social media use, activism, and critical digital making are areas where artmaking can serve as both a mode of expression and a civic practice. In light of this context, we wonder how art curriculum can both draw on and support this form of civic work. We acknowledge that this work aligns civic practice with a form of social justice–oriented activism (Kuttner, 2015), which is not representative of all civic participation. However, as we hope to demonstrate in this article, social activism is a highly visible form of cultural production and resistance that many young people are exposed to across different media channels. Our work aims to incorporate young people’s engagement with this form of activism to support curriculum development in the field.