This proposal responds to the Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the improvement of Teaching (GWF) by focusing on the discovery and testing of innovative arts-based teaching methods and approaches, in order to develop a course in Arts-based Social Justice Practice. Our proposal goes beyond the traditional “art therapy” for social work clients to explore more expansive principles of artistic creation and
experience and their usefulness in the realm of social justice. Ultimately, students who choose to take the course will learn art theories and techniques vis-à-vis social work practices, which will prepare them to teach social work clients the skills they need to engage with art as a means of self-reflection and advocacy toward myriad social problems. This course will complement other developments (e.g., areas of specializations, such as advocacy) currently taking place in the school. In order to develop a course in Arts-based Social Justice
Practice, we need the support of the GWF (1) to identify art forms (e.g., theatre, sculpture, music, etc.) and artmaking processes (e.g., painting, dancing) and then (2) to evaluate the utility of those forms and processes for teaching Arts-based Social Justice Practice. This course will serve students in social work, Art and Design, Music, Theater and Dance, and others.