Arts for Social Change

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ARTS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
HNR 306-002 FALL 2012 TR 03:05-04:20 HR 010

Instructor:Daryl Harris
Office:FH 204
Office Hours:By appointment
Office Phone:859 572 1472 (most efficient means of communication) Email:harrisda@nku.edu (Responses may be less timely.)

Course Description:
Arts for Social Change is an exploration of “activist art” primarily via a survey of contemporary Western “Alternative” Theatre. As arguably the most collaborative of the arts, theatre, particularly alternative theatre, encompasses all of the arts. This course provides a foundation for identifying the key issues that spawned theatrical artistic responses to societal situations. It also looks at a variety of techniques that have been implemented to modify those situations. Further, the course provides opportunities for the student to distinguish current social ills, to select those where the student might be effective, and to create and select art projects that potentially effect social change.

Additionally, this class is one of several NKU classes across disciplines to participate in the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project. Students will experience both the art of grant-writing (by reading and processing submitted proposals) and the joy of philanthropy through this exceptional experience. The class will have $2000.00 to invest into a local not-for-profit arts organization(s) involved in social change. Each student or small student group will research potential beneficiaries, and then present the findings to the class. After careful review and discussions, the class will determine which organization(s) would be benefited best by the investment. The class will present a check(s) to a representative from the organization(s) during a ceremony NOVEMBER 29TH, 4:00PM-6:00PM, SU 107.

Required Texts:
Beyond the Boundaries: American Alternative Theatre by Theodore Shank Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art From 1991-2011 edited by Nato Thompson

Recommended (not required)Text:
Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal

Course Goals & Objectives:
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with both a theoretical and a practical overview of Twentieth Century experimental and socially engaged visual and performing art. Students will be exposed to a variety of activities, exercises, productions, projects and other art forms including street theatre, environmental theatre, graffiti, installations and performance art.

Upon completion of the course, each student will be able to: * Identify, prioritize, and personalize social malfunctions. * Distinguish specific segments of the community for whom change is crucial. * Select situations and populations where artistic activity might be most effective. * Create, organize and produce a viable collective art for social change project. * Appraise the effectiveness of the project, and revise it as warranted. * Assess the societal effectiveness of local arts organizations, and invest discriminately in at least one of them. * Work together as a classroom community to relate to and serve the larger community via the arts.

Course Format:
The major source of theoretical information will be the required textbooks. This material will provide each student with a basic knowledge and understanding of the most influential forms, companies, practices and individuals in various areas of the arts for social change over the past century. Videos and online data will supplement the readings. Students are required to stay abreast of readings as assigned. The major thrust of the class is the interchange and implementation of ideas via classroom discussion and projects.

The textbook and supplemental materials provide the core fuel for these activities. Each student will be required to create at least one project that addresses a social concern about which she or he is personally passionate. Additionally, each student may be required to...
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