More than 70 students and faculty crowded into the Fireside room for the first Art in Society meeting. To see such a large portion of our student body interested in making a difference in the world was inspiring!
The presentation began with a visual display of the different ways art positively influences the human condition. Specifically, art increases understanding between people, gives voice to the powerless, and can be used as a tool for social change. The creative process changes life trajectories and allows us to imagine new solutions to world problems. From Dorothea Lange’s iconic imagery of Depression-era migrant workers to El Sistema’s internationally acclaimed music training program for underprivileged youth to grassroots guerilla theater, examples spanned many artistic disciplines, cultures, time periods, and social issues. The presentation captured the spirit behind the Art in Society program and showed students the vast number of ways they can use their power and talent to change the world.
Afterwards, the nuts and bolts of the program were explained. The three core components were clearly laid out: coursework, seminar activities (including volunteer opportunities), and capstone are projects. Emphasis was placed on the fact that this program is design to support the passion of students and to encourage students to take initiative to engage the world around them. The meeting ended with a long applause, much excitement, and fruitful brainstorming of future possibilities.
A great start to a new school year!