Dr. Paul Sproll, Head of RISD's Department of Teaching + Learning in Art + Design was honored by Providence CityArts for Youth at its June Gala with the 2015 Sister Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice.
Left to right/ CityArts! Board Chair, Garry Bliss; CityArts! Executive Director, Babara Wong; Dr. Paul Sproll, Congressman, David Cicilline; CityArts! Alumna, Victoria Matthews, Photo Credit: CityArts!
The award was "established in 2011 to commemorate Sister Ann's legacy for the City of Providence and her vision of the arts as a catalyst for social change and transformation. This award is to put a spotlight on individuals who embody this spirit through their ideas and practices-to champion the arts and use creativity to lift our communities to a better place, and to build equity and justice for all children to live free from the barriers of race and class".
Dr. Sproll was recognized for "his dedication to the development of progressive practices in art and design teaching and learning in K-12 schools and community-based settings. He is an ardent advocate for educational reform especially in urban public high schools and has been closely associated with reform and reorganization efforts particularly within Providence Public Schools. Under Dr. Sproll's leadership, RISD undergraduate and graduate students have an opportunity to gain life-long teaching skills and to directly serve poor urban schools and communities, where arts learning is significantly underresourced. As example, Dr. Sproll is responsible for forming and endorsing a 12-yr RISD/TLAD and ¡CityArts! partnership since 2003, impacting the lives of over 400 elementary and middle school aged youth through an annual semester-long RISD class called Community Art Project. Dr. Sproll also founded and directs Project Open Door (POD), a free college access program that provides studio education and support services for creative urban high school teens. POD's Saturday Portfolio classes provide opportunities for individualized mentoring and guidance throughout the college application process".