It Works Both Ways: Artists as Citizens and Citizens as Artists

Mindy Nierenberg
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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
Stream: Art in Communities, Arts Education, Art and Human Rights
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Mindy Nierenberg

Program Manager, Tufts University College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University
Medford, MA, USA

At the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service of Tufts University, Mindy provides students with opportunities to create social change while increasing their academic learning and exploring their passions. Her work includes partnership with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts through the Institute of Art and Civic Engagement. Prior to joining Tufts, Mindy served as an Associate Dean at Massachusetts College of Art, where she founded the Office for Community Service Learning. At MassArt, she also co-taught the courses “Art and Community” and “Navajo of the Southwest”, which each year brought twenty students to the Navajo reservation to work on collaborative projects with children and their families. Mindy has worked in higher education for over twenty five years. She is also an exhibiting artist whose work focuses on social issues. She has given workshops and talks on visual art, community, and social change across the country, and served as a consultant for art schools and universities. Mindy has developed a wide range of projects and programs with faculty, students, and community members. She currently teaches a Tufts University course called “Art, Activism, and Community: Visual Art for Social Change”.

Ref: A06P0400