To participate in this course you must be available on Friday afternoons from 2:30-6pm for visits to Rikers in November-December. Students are also required to attend two Saturday workshop prep sessions in October from 10-5pm.
This course will focus on the uses of the visual and performing arts as tools for positive social change. Through hands-on collaboration with the East River Academy, students will create artistic and dialogical spaces for critically thinking about the crisis of incarceration in this country and how this crisis impacts the lives of youth and their communities. Speakers may include representatives from the Institute for Juvenile Justice & Alternatives, Voices Unbroken, and Fortune Society. Readings include writings by scholar/activists such as Augusto Boal, Paulo Freire, Michelle Alexander and Angela Davis. Students will create arts-in-education workshops, which they will facilitate with incarcerated youth at Rikers Island. Students do not need to be artists to participate in the course, however, creativity, community building, and collaboration will be an integral part of the curriculum.