2009-2010 Grant Proposals
Elizabeth Belanger and Carole Calo
"Art and Civic Culture in Urban Neighborhoods"
Classroom Innovation Grant
Project Description: As an integral part of our Learning Community, LC 281 "Art and Civic Culture in Urban Neighborhoods," students will present an exhibition resulting from their collaboration with members of the Cape Verdean community in Brockton. The exhibition will include artworks generated by an oral history project conducted by Stonehill students in partnership with teenagers from Brockton. It may also include a collaborative quilt made by adult Cape Verdeans, as well as traditional crafts practiced by immigrant artists. This exhibition is scheduled for April and May 2010 and will be held at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. Complementary exhibits will be installed in the Cushing Martin Gallery on campus and at the Cape Verdean Center in Brockton.
We are requesting funds to offset expenses of producing an exhibition announcement postcard, an exhibition catalogue, and various expenses related to installation of the artwork in the galleries. (See proposed budget.)
Benefits: These exhibitions will be the culmination of what the students have learned and experienced in the two-semester LC. In the academic courses taken in the fall semester, they will acquire the theoretical background and practical skills necessary to successfully embark on a community-based initiative involving community history and public art. During the Integrative Seminar in the spring semester, students will apply what they have learned from oral histories of Cape Verdeans in Brockton to collaborate on artworks which reflect on personal and collective histories, memories, and hopes for the future.
The anticipated benefits of this project are multiple. Through experiential learning, students will develop a better understanding of Cape Verdeans and their culture, a sense of how identity may be preserved through memory and place, and the challenges facing immigrants in an urban setting. They will also experience the compelling potential of art to be a powerful vehicle for personal and communal expression. The mentoring relationships which will occur as Stonehill students are paired with Brockton teens will hopefully result in positive role models for the teens and a profound life experience for the college students. The exhibitions at the Fuller Craft Museum and Stonehill College will provide Cape Verdeans with the opportunity to celebrate their culture and share collective experiences with a larger public, thereby promoting better understanding. This Learning Community may also serve as a model for future Learning Communities in which faculty plan to engage in community-based learning.
Community Outreach Plans: As mentioned, the exhibitions themselves will involve community outreach as members of the Stonehill and Brockton communities view the results of this collaboration. In addition, the professors may lead a discussion at a Teaching Roundtable or give a presentation at Academic Achievement Day. The professors intend to submit a proposal to chair a panel on academic partnerships with local communities at the conference "Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life" to be held in New Orleans (October 1-3, 2009) and plan to write an article assessing the pedagogical value of this approach to community-based learning.
Postcard announcement (1,000) $ 235.00
Exhibition catalogue (printing) $ 700.00
Installation materials (labels, vinyl lettering, etc.) $ 150.00
Total: $ 1085.00