|Students from the "Transforming Community Through the Arts” course pose in front of their mural in Queens. (Photo courtesy of Louise Montello)
NEW YORK, - On December 15th, students from the "Transforming Community Through the Arts" course at The New School for Public Engagement will present the Voice of Freedom, an event showcasing several community-based arts collaborations conducted over the span of the 2012 fall semester. The course, a first of its kind, explores the theory and practice of art in creating social change by incorporating student-led community initiatives and arts projects into the curriculum.
"The Voice of Freedom will showcase the arts’ ability to mobilize people to creatively assess and transform social problems and to celebrate life in our community,” said Dr. Louise Montello, associate professor and coordinator of the Creative Arts Therapy Certificate Program at The New School. “’Transforming Community through the Arts’ provides a solid foundation for students to directly apply theories of social change through creative community engagement leading to tangible results and long-term benefits.”
Though art education classes may be dwindling across the country as schools encounter mounting financial difficulties, the role of the arts as a therapeutic response to the harms and injustices felt by some members of society remains integral to community building and healing.
In support of the program, Brooklyn-based artist Broderick Price will display his anti-war painting collection on exhibition, and Randy Rydell, a senior political affairs officer in the Office of Mr. Sergio Duarte, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs at the United Nations, will be the guest speaker. Rydell will discuss the role of the arts in creating sustainable peace worldwide.
Collaborations presented by the students include "Unmasking my past, reclaiming my future," a theater piece created with the influence and reflections of survivors of human trafficking, a Peace Trilogy Anti-War Flash Mob choreographed by students from the course and incorporating audience members in a spontaneous dance routine, and a documentary preview focusing on the creation of a Race Relations Mural painted at "Make the Road New York" and other arts and social change projects. Audience participation is highly encouraged. This event is sponsored by the Creative Arts Therapy Program at The New School for Public Engagement.
Admission to The Voice of Freedom is free and seating is first-come first-served. The event will be held at The New School’s John Tishman Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues on Saturday, December 15th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
About the Creative Arts Therapy Program at The New School
The New School's certificate program in Creative Arts Therapy (CAT) is both didactic and experiential, grounded in the latest developments in psychology and mind-body healing. The curriculum is unique in that it encourages students to work in more than one artistic modality in developing therapeutic insight and mastery. It integrates mind-body techniques such as creative visualization, guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, and therapeutic touch with more traditional arts therapy and psychodynamic approaches. Fieldwork opportunities are available in diverse clinical settings.