Placing Art at the Heart of Community Building (APA2304.01)

Miroslava Prazak & Kerry Ryer-Parke

“Great art is like bypass surgery. It allows us to go around all of the psychological distancing mechanisms that turn people cold to the most vulnerable among us.” Lin-Manuel Miranda

While recent crises have revealed troubling divides in most societies of the world, the resulting disruption invites the possibility of kinder, more peaceful and equitable communities. When the arts open our hearts to people with different experiences and understandings, there is space for resilient relationships, civil dialogue and repair.

The sensual and ethical experience of a Bennington education prepares students beautifully for peacebuilding work. Ears trained by music study might hear a note of reconciliation in a difficult conversation, just as the filmmaker’s eye for detail can focus attention on injustice. If you want to use your art to change the world, this class will provide a framework for looking at the personal and private work to be done, practical ways to begin doing it, and examples of communities that have already begun this important work.

Learning Outcomes:
-To learn skills needed to engage in difficult conversations
- To recognize and assess dimensions of inequality, inequity, conflict and violence
- To develop appreciation and use of artistic skills and works of art to offer alternative dimension and directions to communal discourse

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Anthropology , CAPA , Fully In-Person , Music