Arts in NYC is a course I co-created. The majority of the readings come from my undergradute work in an interdisciplinary major of Cultural Studies--a degree in which I wove together three areas of disciplinary work (Art History, Communication Studies, and Education) to create my own path of inquiry. It was an amazing educational experience, and it prompted me to be engaged in my studies like never before. I very much value interdisciplinary work and wrote this class with the goal of creating a similar experience for our students.
The purpose of this course is to encourage our students--many who have been New Yorkers their entire lives--to take the time to have art on their mind. It digs into some of the many avenues of art in New York City: visual art in museums, the public art of memorials, the history of hip hop culture, the many forms of dance, art institutions across the five boroughs, smaller galleries, and much more. Each week explores an art form and follows a similar pattern: a class to learn the vocabulary behind that art form and to be introduced to various works, a class to dig deeper into theories/ideas/analysis of that art form, and a class during which the students are meant to experience the art form in some way.
The key element of this course is the experiential component. Each weekly topic concludes in an experiential component that gets the students out of their classroom and into the arts in New York City. These trips are not guided tours; the students are meant experience art on their own, in peer groups, and/or in an informal setting with their professor.
The course was taught for the first time during our Fall II semester in 2013; this abbreviated semester is 6 weeks long and students met three times a week for 2-hour classes. Through a stroke of curricular serendipity, it was placed at the perfect time. Students--with one semester of college-level coursework completed--were ready to engage at a deeper level of analysis and critical thinking with academic subject matter, and art was the perfect curricular vehicle at the perfect time in their academic growth.
As I edit this page, it is January 6th, 2014 and I taught my first Arts in NYC course today. Again, the enthusiasm I received from the students today has propelled me into a whirlwind of excitement to teach. I am working to develop an Arts in New York City ePortfolio to highlight the elements of the course, so please bear with me as I transition materials, develop new areas, and bring this course to life on ePortfolio.
Now it is January 2019! We hired an amazing faculty to run this program three years ago, and I am teaching this class again for the first time in five years and I am very excited. Our artist-in-residence program has grown immensely so that ALL students work with an artist for a week during this six-week course. Also, all students are able to have an artistic experience (theatre, dance, etc.) in the City. Both of these experiences are funded by the generosity of the Solon E. Summerfield Foundation.
If you have any quesitons about Arts in NYC, please reach out to my wonderful colleague Angelina Tallaj at email@example.com