It Works Both Ways: Artists as Citizens and Citizens as Artists
This paper shares my experiences engaging college students in active citizenship through the integration of visual art and civic engagement . The focus will be on documenting two perspectives: my work with art and design school students and faculty, designing ways to build upon their visual art skills to facilitate social change, and my work in a liberal arts university, bringing the language of visual arts to those involved in issues of social change. Each group has presented challenges and assets that have informed the other. Working with student artists at a Boston college of art introduced the concept of utilizing art as a vehicle for social positive change. My work at the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public of Tufts University has mainly focused on students not identified as artists, but involved in social justice, community-based work, and activism. The addition of visual arts into several of these programs has proved highly effective. The newly formed Institute of Art and Civic Engagement- a partnership of Tufts University, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts- is conceived as a resource for both students and faculty interested in active citizenship and the arts, and brings together scholars, faculty, and students from each institution.This paper will share program models, best practices, and course syllabi.
Keywords: Higher Education, Visual Art, Social Change, Civic Engagement
Program Manager, Tufts University College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University