Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Black Studies in Art and Design Education Conference 2011

I had the pleasure of attending the first international conference on Blacks Studies in Art and Design Education this past weekend.  The conference took place at Parsons The New School of Art and Design in New York City.  This two day event was organized by interdisciplinary artist and author  Coco Fusco and designer and scholar Yvonne Watson both staff members at Parsons.   

The conference was made up of several panel discussion, which each discussion in themselves could have lasted the whole duration of the conference.  

Hot topics I was especially interested in was curricular reform and the black student experience in and out of the classroom.

Keynote speakers: (Day one) Dr. Leslie King-Hammond and (Day two) Dr. Noel Mayo.
Panelist  included to name a few Michele Washington, Craig l. Wilkins, Susan Cahan and Stephen Burks.

Attending this conference was a valuable experience for me. I left feeling more motivated to continue my studies, show my work and to teach.  One of my passions and goals is to teach young children to think creatively and become problem solvers, through art workshops. 

Food for thought:

How can I use my craft and creativity to address the world’s problems?  I know that heavy!
I feel this is my responsibility to use my life to make a contribution for positive change.
I am an artist and maker.   How can I use these skills in art, craft and food to create a better life for myself and others. 
I would love to be apart of creating a scholarship fund to help people of color go to art school.

Leslie king–Hammond  mention the book The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind in her speech. And she shared several wise saying and proverbs including this one:
“Take what you have and make what you want “ Gullah proverb.  Noel Mayo gave reference to Banker To The Poor  by Muhammad Yunus.

The conference raised some huge issues and points that could not be answered in just the two days. Overall, I think the myth of becoming a starving artist is not  a myth at all but a reality. We have to create strong networks so that we can be aware of job, exhibition and educational opportunities.  I feel art and design education has to be pared with business and entrepreneurship training as well.    When I graduated from art school I had no idea what I was going to do.  I remembered my ceramics teacher in high school telling me strait up  "the only way you can make money with this is to teach."  

I would love to hear any thoughts and comments on this topic!   


  1. Sounds like the conference really got you thinking. I feel like I make food choices everyday that affect this world. We are organic vegans, who only real, fresh foods. My choices will help to heal, not harm, and I've found others who see how we eat, want to know why, and even implement some changes in their own lives. It's a beautiful thing to see. My creativity is also green, from the bottles I sell my products in, to the packaging I use to ship. Those little things, everyday, make me feel like a million bucks! :) Would love to hear what direction you decide to move in. :)

  2. Anyone who attended that conference should have left feeling empowered. I'm inspired just by reading your post. I believe it's imperative that like-minded people network, sharing their craft form and various opportunities amongst each other so nobody starves. lol I know so many people that were steered away from the arts, even when they chose teaching paths, because they were often told that there was no guarantee in the arts. It's unstable. Or, even if you teach, there's only one art teacher in a school or possibly two music or band teachers, so competition is stiff.

    There are those who choose those paths initially and fight to make it happen, and then there are others who choose against their true passion, only later to come back to it in some form or another if they're fortunate. The latter is my personal struggle.

    This is one reason I have found blogging and social networking to be beneficial. It helps to join crafters despite their location. It's inspirational to see how others share their creative talent.

  3. Thanks guys so much, for sharing your views on this.



Related Posts with Thumbnails