I'm an advocate for educating about the ways that art can be an agent of positive social change. This happens through 1) artwork that makes an audience think/ provokes a response to a subject, 2) creating art in response to a social justice issues, 3) educating about how to look at art, 4) educating about how to use art as a vehicle for social change.
In my role as Artist in Residence at Alvernia University, I'm building a bridge between the Fine and Performing Arts Department and The Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement through a social media challenge.
A little background - in a non-pandemic year, most colleges, classes start right after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (in January) with students moving in the weekend prior. MLK Day is used as a day of service for the college and surrounding communities. Because of the pandemic, Alvernia began classes February 1st; MLK Day was still used as a day for awareness and advocacy through a virtual ceremony. I performed via video for the celebration.
The Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement is kicking off this first week of classes, Black History Month, and the semester with a week of awareness and advocacy, focusing on Dr. King's philosophies, panel discussions, and service opportunities. We're collaborating to bring awareness to the ways that art provokes social change through a social media challenge - using #AUartasawareness.
Here are some of the images I've created. The pictures are used with permission and are from past performances of Alvernia Theatre.