Table of Contents / Questions

The questions discussed and investigated at each Creative Chemistries event.

ART21 Screening & Discussion

On the Functions and Fallibilities of Art in Education and Education in Art

  • How does personal experience shape the ways we value art and education?
  • What critical capacities and tools do students need today?
  • What collaborative models exist to embark on necessary social change?
  • How can we involve students in their own learning?
  • What are strategies for leveraging and building community?




Part 1: Art + Education: Advocating for a New Paradigm

  • How do we negotiate difference and find connection when working with others?
  • When and where should art education take place? What can school and community based programs offer?
  • How does language change when dealing with different audiences? How must we speak and act in order to generate new understandings about art education today?

Part 2: Art + Education: Expanding Access & Equity

  • Who is invisible and why within current structures of representation and access?
  • How can we cultivate agency and form new networks that generate positive change?
  • It is difficult to meet the needs of children and students if the needs of their parents and supporting community are not being met, yet we cannot ignore the promise of the children as our future. In what ways can we treat the cause and not just the symptoms? What role can art play?




21st Century Citizens

Part 1

  • What essential skills or capacities does art provide in the twenty-first century, especially in light of the role that technology and media now play in society? How are these skills transferable?
  • How can artists and educators support cross-disciplinary learning? In what ways is it a twenty-first century skill to think like an artist?
  • Can failure be taught? What does that look and sound like?
  • What are the benefits of looking to old models for thinking versus creating new ones? What do we lose if we are in a constant state of reinvention?

Part 2

  • How are we preparing students for the uncertainties of the twenty-first century, and in what ways can the arts in education meet unknown challenges?
  • What does it look and sound like to cultivate “unsafe” spaces for learning that help students grapple with difference and cultivate critical thinking skills in respectful and productive ways?
  • Are there differences between cultivating twenty-first-century citizens and twenty-first-century artists?


Classroom as Community / Community as Classroom

Part 1

  • Where do we learn? How do formal and informal learning spaces engage students differently?
  • How does art bring communities and schools together?

Part 2

  • What can educators and institutions do in order to encourage the creation of productive learning communities within their spaces?
  • How can informal learning inspire new possibilities for formal learning?
  • What is the role of the teacher—and their knowledge—in self-directed, student-centered learning?


Intersections of Artistic and Educational Practices

Part 1

  • What are strategies to help create and support effective, sustained policy changes in the current educational system and question common assumptions about art and the work of the artist?
  • How can artists and educators help reveal hidden narratives and enact new systems of visibility? How much do these practices lead toward social justice?

Part 2

  • What do students need to know in order to connect with contemporary artists’ work?
  • What terms are most useful in establishing a vocabulary with which to explore contemporary artistic practices and artwork?
  • What are questions and strategies educators can use to shift the focus to the process of making art rather than the end result?


Towards Equity, Access and Social Justice

Part 1

  • Do artists have a responsibility in relation to current social justice issues? How can the visual representation of social issues intersect with socially engaged practices? What is the potential of aesthetic activism?
  • What are strategies for creating collaborations or partnerships between artists and communities that are mutually sustainable and beneficial?
  • How do we assess success in social engagement? What does success look and sound like in short- or long-term socially engaged artistic work?
  • What are strategies for engaging students and community-based audiences in projects or experiences that dismantle systems of inequality rather than just represent them?

Part 2

  • How do we best address and identify biases when we are working with communities other than our own?
  • What are the hidden or silenced narratives in our communities, our disciplines, our institutions, and how can we elevate and engage others with them?




  • Which kinds of open-form collaborative environments best catalyze students’ critical thinking?
  • How do environmental and physical loss inform creative and educational processes?
  • How can playfulness and imagination be fostered in the classroom through art educational practices?
  • In what ways can an analysis and utilization of social media and pop culture in the classroom encourage creativity and critical contemporary thought in students?
  • How can the semiotics and hierarchical structures that surround us be broken down and fully understood by students through arts education?



ART21 Educators Lab

  • How can feedback be systemically considered and integrated into art educational practices and institutions?
  • What ways of organizing and presenting art educational initiatives have we yet to consider?
  • How can technology be best incorporated in classrooms and artworks in ways that enhance the message instead of distract away from it?



  • What can Creative Chemistries lessons can be taken back to classrooms and studios and be applied in ways that are most useful to students, viewers, and artists?
  • How can we keep the conversation going moving forward?


Extra Credit

  • What other resources are out there for investigating the connection between visual art and education?

Friday night's screening & panel discussion

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