Summer Institute on Contemporary Art (SICA) is a five-day professional development experience for K12 teachers and museum educators. Institute participants can earn Act 48 credits. During SICA participants develop theoretical and practical approaches to incorporating contemporary art into their curricula; discuss readings on contemporary art, museums, and curricula; engage in gallery activities, group discussions, and studio projects; work with resident and visiting scholars in art education; and, acquire new information and materials for classroom use. Dana Carlisle Kletchka, Curator of Education at the Palmer Museum of Art, and I are the founding institute co-directors and faculty. SICA is funded by generous gift support from the Brown Family and Susan and Harold Quinque, as well as the Palmer Museum of Art.
Reservoir Studio is an underground collective for trans-disciplinary and trans-epistemological curriculum and pedagogy collaboration. Participants pool intellectual and other resources for the purposes of inquiry, pedagogy, and action. The central project revolves around public pedagogy, curriculum development, and education about of point of use ceramic water filters for rural communities in need of adequate access to potable water. Reservoir Studio also takes on projects related to issues of access and collaboration through art. Reservoir Studio is the curriculum and education arm of Potters Water Action Group.
The School of Visual Arts (SoVA) Studio for Sustainability and Social Action (SoVAS3A) contributes to Advancing the Arts and Humanities through innovative arts-based approaches to sustainability and social action, education initiatives, community collaborations, and a biennial exhibition and symposium. University level contributions include coordinated curriculum and research opportunities through the arts and social action. The project relates to priorities of Enhancing Health, Stewarding our Planet’s Resources, and Transforming Education by way of the development of arts courses and minors through curriculum coordination; public art collaborations with communities throughout the commonwealth; a nationally visible biennial symposium and art exhibition; and a lecture series and workshops by high profile artists. SoVAS3A is funded through a University Strategic Plan Seed Grant.
The African Diaspora Water Crisis Curriculum Project aims to develop and implement an arts–based high school curriculum and instructional resources in response to the global water crisis in the African Diaspora. The curriculum and instructional resources will be developed in collaboration with teachers in schools with predominantly African American student populations for use in their International Baccalaureate (IB) program. A key aim of the project is to enable African American students, their classmates, and their teachers to situate themselves critically within the African Diaspora through direct exploration of the global water crisis through artistic, scholarly, and socially engaged practices. This project is a collaborative effort with teachers as participatory action research collaborators. This project is possible thanks to a grant from the Africana Research Center (ARC) at the Penn State.
Double Water Fountains is an ongoing participatory and public pedagogy project inspired by Segregated Water Fountain (1950), a photograph by Elliot Erwitt. This project is an example of public pedagogy and social practice and shares similarities with work taken up by a growing array of contemporary artists, educators, and social activists. Further, this project resembles other forms of participatory inquiry at the pedagogical turn in response to social and cultural issues, situations, and challenges taken up by visual artists and interdisciplinary collectives who intend their work to construct new knowledge, spaces of learning, and positive change through collective action.
Collaborative Creative Resistance is an ongoing series of participatory performances and demonstrations. Using clay, sawdust, colloidal silver, and a hydraulic ram press, the performance demonstrates the production of ceramic water filters made of clay and sawdust. Viewers and participants learn about the global water crisis and the production of affordable point of use silver enhanced ceramic water filters that render bacteria-contaminated water potable. The performances are a form of public pedagogy in response to the global water crisis and have been conducted at universities in California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Collaborative Creative Resistance was funded by the Penn State Institute for the Arts and Humanities