Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Expert Advice on Community-Based Arts

I'm having a lot of fun right now learning and conceptualizing my yes, new study! I've attended a talk on art-based research (See Nov 30 posting). Today, I had the honor to talk to Dr. Jan Cohen-Cruz, Director, Imagining America, author and expert on community-based performance (CBP). That is, on an unforgettable day of rain and snow, making the walk to Tolley Building a wet and slushy one. Nevertheless, still memorable.:)

Marj had recommended I read her book(s). I've started with Local Acts. It documents the historical origins, establishes the field and introduces the principles, methodology and performance structures of CBP. As an amateur in theater productions in Singapore, it's never crossed my mind before how theater/arts can be such a collective grassroots, hyphenated and cultural event, (possibly guided by a professional) at the same time.

Her book engrosses me in many parts. Reading about her positionality(?) vis-a-vis CBP fascinated me. I could make a similar comparison with myself. An avid arts lover and coordinator in a high school, producing amateur productions for national youth competitions, a first encounter with a Deaf student, then my HOH niece going profoundly Deaf, learning ASL in Singapore and Syracuse, and then being on this Access project. I see several parts of my life connecting me to this dissertation interest.  

Dr. Cohen-Cruz was amazing. She shared many website links, names of people to contact and stuff to read up. How incredibly helpful!

Resources to explore:
Project Muse database (I'd always been using Web of Science!)
www.communityarts.net (archived resources, but on Facebook as CAN, which I'd already "liked")
CAN writer John Sullivan
Linda Frye Burnham
Society for the Arts in Healthcare
Center on Age and Community, Anne Basting, U Wisc-Milwaukee
forgetmemory.org
ESTA, Elders Share The Arts, Susan Perlstein, founder
National Center for Creative Aging

So here I go, again, deep diving into new literature! *SSS-PLASH*

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