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MA Alumna Explores Thesis in Grant Proposal

It is always heartening to hear that thesis work conducted during the MA in Art + Design Education program continues to inform an alum's work beyond her/his time at RISD. So, it is with Erin Poindexter MA '16 whose thesis "Expanding Horizons, Expanding Self: An Incentive to Get Out of the Classroom and Start Using Art to Explore Your Community with Place-Based Arts Investigation" is very much at the core of a grant proposal “Re-Examine Your Heroes with Place-based Arts Investigation (PBAI)” was submitted recently to the RedLine Contemporary Arts Center in Denver Colorado. What is particularly noteworthy is that in the development of her proposal TLAD alumna Bridget Skenadore MA '12 Program Officer of Native Arts and Culture at the American Indian College Fund in Denver, CO. Bridget, a Navajo/Dine artist and scholar, has connected Erin with several local artists, activists, and potential speakers in the Native community and going forward, she will serve as a curriculum consultant. Erin has kindly agreed to our sharing of an extract from her grant proposal:

Tell us about your project and what inspired this proposal.

Race Riots in Charlottesville, VA and widespread news headlines pertaining to the removal of Confederate War Memorials led me to the storied history of civilian intervention in Captain John D. Howland’s 1909 bronze statue of a Civil War Cavalryman, which sits on the western-facing lawn of Denver’s Capitol Building. In 1991, a group of protestors called for a more democratic framing of this work of art. The city responded by erecting a small plaque at the statue’s foot. - Is this enough?

“Re-Examine Your Heroes with Place-based Arts Investigation (PBAI)” seeks to answer this question and others as we engage multiple sources and contending perspectives in the discussion of “hero-worship” through the lens of art and society. PBAI purports that every community performs as a microcosm of the world at large. It is by a community’s particularity that global themes become accessible and relatable.

“Re-Examine Your Heroes with PBAI” is a 6-session interdisciplinary arts learning program and exhibition opportunity designed to bring a critical social consciousness to art and culture in the context of our city’s political sphere. Rooted in a museum experience at The Denver Museum of Nature and Science and a visit to Denver’s Capitol Building; the program features original creative works by Dr. Chip Colwell, The Zuni Pueblo Tribe, John D. Howland and Kent Monkman.

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