Projects, Projects, and more Projects! The projects and group work in grad school are never ending and I constantly have to keep switching gears when one projects ends, theres another one waiting to be tackled. But I can't complain, I'm learning a lot and really pushing myself into new spaces. Our first collective project, aside from the presentations we're required to do in class, was HOT TOPICS. Each group was assigned a current controversial hot topic from the art world and responsible for presenting it to the class. I was placed in the "Challenges to Borders via Artistic Activism" and this was my opportunity to examine recent political issues concerning the Muslim ban from the arts perspective. My group and I designed our presentation around taking an in-depth look into Institutions and Artists that have recently responded to Trump's policies.
I had started writing this post back in October and between more projects and papers, I just got really busy and have clearly neglected my blog. While this semester was definitely over whelming, I lost momentum on keeping up with my writing trying to survive the hurdles of the assignments the semester threw at me. This semester was not only a trying one, but also a transitional one that has given me a new perspective on life and how I think about art. I came into this experience not knowing what I would learn and now I'm more eager than ever to continue in the program.
I learned that art still continues to play a vital role in our society and in shaping our reality. Whether its used for activism purposes, urban designing, pushing agendas, building communities, encouraging youth, or social justice, art is something we can not avoid comming across in our daily lives. Aside from the Hot Topics project, I also had the opportunity to work with the creator of Docademia, Nassim Abdi, for my Management class. Docademia is a platform that allows filmmakers to share their documentaries about social justice with students directly in the classroom. Being part of the marketing team allowed me to brush up on my business school knowledge and also learn about who art is a powerful tool for social justice. I learned to write proposals, conduct focus groups, and experience first hand what it takes to develop a startup. Check out the platform at: www.docademia.com
I also collaborated with my Media Futures class to curate a digital exhibition that eventually came together in the end! You can check out the exhibition at www.technicalimages.org
The biggest challenge of the semester was the critical study and the reason behind why I got so busy. I'm so impressed by my cohort not only about the diverse and interesting topics we all wrote about, but also our dedication to succeed and helping each other throughout this process. I really took this opportunity to dive deep into what I came to graduate school for and start looking into how art programs are implemented into hospital settings. I started out with my concerns about art as a commodity in hospitals and researched how successful exhibition galleries in the healthcare industry can be. Aside from my network project that gave me an opportunity to interview the Executive Director of Snow City Art and learn more about the partnerships of art programs and hospitals, this critical study really allowed me to further investigate the potential of community health as a collective impact in America and how we can push for that change. This is a topic I plan on pursuing further for my thesis and design my classes around my interest in the upcoming semesters.
Now that I've gotten accustomed to living in the city and gotten a taste of what Graduate School is like, my plans for next semester are to set a consistent schedule and practice better self care. It's about discipline and recognizing what to prioritize. I really want to make it a point to be consistent with my blog and document my journey while I'm here in Chicago. I also plan on networking on campus more and getting involved in more projects. Most importantly, I want to just explore more art in Chicago and take in as much as I can. This semester I've learned that making your passion into your job is not an easy thing to do but the art administration route can be very rewarding. Not everyone loves or understands the arts as we do and it is our responsibility to show the world how we encounter art in every aspect of our lives and how art is at the very core of our existence.
This is the time to to really start running with all the opportunities I have available to me and push forward with the utmost dedication and passion. Like the Futurists say, Velocita!