Posts Tagged 'South Dallas Cultural Center'

Friday Photos: Sending a Message

For the past several years, the DMA has collaborated with the South Dallas Cultural Center during Summer at the Center, a multi-week summer camp where students learn about African history through the arts. The teens at the center visited the DMA twice this summer. Together, we traced the Middle Passage and the Atlantic Slave Trade through art in Visions of America: Three Centuries of Prints from the National Gallery of Art, unpacking responses to this period of cruelty and injustice with artists like Kara Walker, Charles White, and Elizabeth Catlett. We also explored our Arts of Africa collection, where we investigated cultures that had a visible impact on American culture.

Because artists, and print-makers especially, use their work to spread ideas and messages through their art, we made prints about things that are important to us that we would like to share with the world. Here are a few highlights from the prints we made today, representing everything from music to community!

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Our summer partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center is one of the highlights of our year. As an educator, it’s amazing to work with a group of students that are so knowledgeable about history – especially parts of the world that I’m still learning new things about. I think they end up teaching me a lot more than I teach them!

See all of you next summer!

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen Programs

A Golden Summertime

Last night, we wrapped up our annual summer partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center’s six-week Summer Arts at the Center program, where students learn about African history through writing, photography, art-making, and performance. This summer, students learned about post-colonial West Africa, with a focus on Ghana.

Some of our favorite works of art at the DMA come from Ghana – like the Sword ornament in the shape of a lion! After a field trip to the Museum to learn more about Asante gold, teens illustrated and gilded proverbs from their lives with gold leaf, then brought them into three dimensions with clay.

After their projects were finished, we invited families from the Center to visit us for a family night! Roslyn Walker, the DMA’s Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific, lead tours for families in the galleries. Students and their loved ones also made thumb pianos in the studio and explored the Center for Creative Connections during their visit.

Big thanks to the South Dallas Cultural Center for another summer of awesome art making and fun. We look forward to seeing you at the museum again soon!

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs

All in the Family: A Community Partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center

Families from the South Dallas Cultural Center are regulars here at the DMA. For six months out of the year, a small group come to the Museum every second Sunday of the month to explore and make artworks together. Below are images of our Museum adventures from this past group:

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In July, we capped off another wonderful year of our Second Sunday partnership with an exhibition of our creations at the South Dallas Cultural Center.

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Also on display at the Center was a street art project created in collaboration with a group of teens at the Center’s summer program.

Thank you, South Dallas families, for another wonderful partnership! We look forward to the creativity our next group will bring!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

The Art of Being an Intern

Finalizing designs with the SDCC teens.

Finalizing designs with the SDCC teens.

Hello everyone! My name is Mariana Gonzalez and for the past eight weeks, I have interned with the Museum’s Education Department as part of the Mayors Intern Fellows Program. The program is highly competitive because it offers 350 students (over 1,000 students applied!) the opportunity to gain real world experience at an eight-week long internship. I am about to begin my senior year at Richland Collegiate High School. It is a charter school in Dallas where I am set to earn my Associates Degree in Science and my high school diploma this coming spring. I aspire to be a well-recognized artist someday and plan to continue my studies with a Bachelors in Studio Art.

Much of my job here as an intern for the Education Department involved getting dirty with many diverse groups of kids. I worked in the C3 Studio on some days and other days I was on the move with the Go van Gogh program! We created works of art and hosted all kinds of camps for the kiddos from fashion camp to a cosplay camp. Every day was completely different. I also had the opportunity to help guide a teacher forum. I essentially taught teachers about teaching art. From doing craft projects to visiting a few exhibitions, these teachers were offered the finest of opportunities to learn all about how we do things here at the DMA.

One of my favorite partnerships happened with the South Dallas Cultural Center. The Go van Gogh program and teens from the SDCC banded together to create temporary street art with duct tape. We began with marshmallow ice breakers, finding inspiration from artists like Banksy, and sketching out various designs. We outlined our ideas in chalk and finally worked the duct tape into the concrete to create street art. The entire experience was mind blowing –who would’ve thought we could make art on concrete out of non-expensive tape? These brilliant teens innovated my manner of thinking and that lesson will always stick with me.

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When I was little, my mother taught me about many things, but no amount of preaching on her behalf could have taught me what I learned from the kids at the DMA. Working with such a vast amount of children allowed me to realize how much I enjoy their company. They are all young, vibrant, and honest. Something I looked forward to every single day of my internship. Overall, my internship transformed my summer into a memorable experience. I am forever in debt to my supervisor and all of the wonderful people who helped guide me on this fantastic journey of learning and teaching at the DMA. I even had the opportunity to be featured on The Dallas Morning News!

Mariana Gonzalez
Mayor’s Intern Fellow

Hitting the Highlight Reel: 2013-2014 School Year in Review

As our tours wind down and we make our final school trip in the Go van Gogh van, it’s time to look back at all we’ve done this school year (and be pretty proud of ourselves). If we could have looked into the future last September, we would have seen a year of change waiting for us. 2013-2014 has been action-packed, full of happy surprises and new initiatives and programs. Instead of looking at this school year by the numbers, we’re going to hit the highlight reel and showcase just a few of many great moments.

2013-14 New Docent Class

From left to right: Felix Landau, Flo Lockett-Miles, Debi Waltz, Annette Culwell, Charlie Kuzmic, Stephanie Avery, Sandi Edgar, Art Weinberg, Evan Simmons, and David Caldwell.

New Docent Class of 2013-2014

We are excited to introduce our New Docent Class of 2013-2014! In order to “graduate” from the program, our new docents attend over thirty weeks of training, give ten (or more) tours, and read almost all of Marilyn Stokstad’s Art History. These new docents have put in countless hours prepping for tours and learning different touring strategies and activity ideas. We are excited to welcome such an enthusiastic, creative, and dedicated group to our DMA Docent Program. Look for them on your DMA tours this fall!

Booker T. Washington Learning Lab Partnership

This was another fantastic year for the Learning Lab partnership with the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Students met artists Jim Hodges and Stephen Lapthisophon, learning first-hand about their respective special exhibitions and their process as artists. Students then put their own creative talent on display, re-imagining a DMA artwork using Instagram as their artistic medium. They went on behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum’s art storage areas and object conservation space, and got some career advice from a variety of Museum staff during a DMA career panel.  Most exciting of all, we will soon see the first class from the Learning Lab partnership graduate—congratulations class of 2014!

Go van Gogh Color My World Program for Special Education Classrooms

We were excited to unveil a new Go van Gogh experience this year. Designed to fill a growing need for Special Education outreach, the Color My World program incorporates multi-sensory activities in a color-filled classroom adventure inspired by paintings in the Museum’s collection. With the support of our enthusiastic Go van Gogh volunteers, we’ve been able to lead many Color My World programs this spring. And with the help of two very smart colleagues (thank you, Danielle and Hayley!), we’ve spent those sessions learning how the program works best, experimenting and modifying our way to what is now an inclusive experience for children with a range of abilities.

South Dallas Cultural Center Second Sundays

Sometimes the best learning experiences happen when the school day ends and we’re with our friends and family.  This year also brought the beginning of what we hope is a long-term partnership with families from the South Dallas Cultural Center. One Sunday a month, we have South Dallas “Second Sundays,” where a group of families spends two hours together at the Museum exploring and making art. Families have sketched and painted like Edward Hopper, designed chairs like Frank Gehry, and have spent many a Sunday using the Museum as both a resource and a source of artistic inspiration. While we haven’t wrapped up this program just yet (families, if you’re reading this, our June Sunday is not-to-miss!), this out-of-school, school year partnership is one that has defined 2013-14 for me, in a wonderful way.

To all the docents, Go van Gogh volunteers, hard-working Education colleagues (past and present), and our amazing McDermott Intern who have all helped make this school year so successful and fun-filled–thank you!  We hope you have a great summer, and we can’t wait to see you right back here in the fall!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Theater, Play, and Creativity

Thursday evening the Center for Creative Connections was filled with thirty playful, divergent thinkers who were asked to have fun and break rules. These adults were attending a once a month program called Think Creatively taught by Dr. Magdalena Grohman and guest performer Harold Steward from the South Dallas Cultural Center.  During one portion of the evening, visitors engaged in playful theatrical activities that were developed from Steward’s theatrical background and knowledge of the practice known as Theater of the Oppressed.

During the 1970’s, Brazilian activist and actor Augusto Boal was the driving force for the creation of this theatrical practice. The goal of Boal was to use theater as a way to promote social change. Boal took inspiration from educator and theorist Paulo Freire, who is well known for his work Pedagogy of the Oppressed. In this revolutionary text, Freire argues that education should allow those who are oppressed to recapture their sense of humanity and overcome their sense of oppression. However, that oppressed person must play an active role in their own freedom. Inspired by the critical pedagogy of Freire, Boal believed that through the dialogue and interaction between actor and audience, people could free themselves; the actors and audience become active explorers and transformers of their own realities with the help of a facilitator. Theater of the Oppressed is about dialogue, playing and learning with one another to create change.

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As I watched Steward act as the facilitator, I was encouraged by the freedom that the participants seemed to gain with each passing moment. He had the visitors stand back to back; he then called out directions for each of them to follow. Placing one’s head to another’s hip, or positioning a knee to an elbow was really a sight to see.

After this warm-up, Steward and I demonstrated an activity together. I was directed to make a movement and was not allowed to stop moving until Harold said, “What are you doing, Amanda?” I was not allowed to respond with what my action was, but instead I had to say what I wanted him to act out. I called out the action, “Running a marathon,” and he pretended he was running the race of a lifetime. After, the visitors were roaring in laughter and running around the room, engaging in this activity. Steward had them stop and then broke all the rules that he just taught them. The pairs had to create their own guidelines and interpretations to the last activity. One pair decided that they were only allowed to sing to each other, another group determined that all of their activities to act out had to be represented in mime.

The visitors responded to the process and indicated that participating in these Theater of the Oppressed exercises was difficult for them at first because they had to overcome their initial hesitations to move, play, and be free without fear—but once they let go of all that was holding them back (or oppressing them), they were able to experience liberation and freedom from restraint.

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Here is another Theater of the Oppressed activity created by Augusto Boal that you can try with your friends!

The Name and Gesture Game:
The group will stand in a circle. The facilitator introduces themselves and creates a physical gesture. The whole group repeats the name and gesture. The process occurs until everyone has said their own name and preformed a gesture. Then, this process is repeated but without the name. Anyone who wishes takes a step forward and the rest of the group must say the name and preform the gesture.

I hope you’ll join us in C3 soon!

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

South Dallas Cultural Center in the C3 House

If you have stopped by the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections recently, you might have noticed our fourth Community Partner Response Installation near the Space Bar. The South Dallas Cultural Center (SDCC) created Free Association, a 12-foot-tall multimedia, interactive installation that includes a music composition station and a choreography instructional video. You can experience the installation through October.

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