Last fall, Luisa Bieri, Co-op Faculty, attended the Imagining America: Artists & Scholars in Public Life conference in Baltimore, MD. Imagining America brings together artists and scholars “to animate an emerging movement and create transformation within higher education and society.” It was a coming home event for Luisa, who had lived and worked within the arts in Baltimore for 6 years.
At the time of the conference, the city was in a true reflection period over what has been coined the “Baltimore Uprising” (social protests that erupted after the death of Freddie Grey). While sessions at the conference spanned topics of public art to reimagining assessment, there was a strong undercurrent felt from the recent events and continual discussions on race and inequity both in Baltimore and urban cities, but also within institutions of higher education and arts organizations around the country.
As an outcome of community arts programming that she established through an Open Society Institute Community Fellowship at Creative Alliance, Luisa was able to return to her former artistic home and attend the workshop “Neighborhood Voices: Our Stories About Race Where We Live.” Luisa was grateful that she was able to take part in these important dialogues and connect with old colleagues and new. She hopes to attend the conference again this year.
Following her Teaching and Learning interests, Luisa participated in an online webinar series offered by Imagining America this spring on Enhancing Distance Learning Pedagogy in the field of Community Arts. “It was wonderful to know that colleagues in my field were dealing with similar questions and working to improve teaching and learning methods for students across the country”, Luisa remarks. She is excited to be implementing what she has learned into her new Work Portfolio courses, focused on arts, community engagement, and place based learning. Students enrolled in her course this quarter will be using place-based methodologies and incorporating issues of social engagement and activism into their thinking and development as artists themselves.
Tanya Couch serves as the Career Communications Coordinator within the Cooperative Education Program. In this role, Tanya prepares students for post-graduate success, by assisting in career development such as resume building, interviewing skills, online profile development, and providing general advice and guidance how to pursue a full-time work or graduate studies opportunity.