In the face of drastic cuts to both the arts and the humanities at the national and state levels, it is important to empower and give voice to young artists and creatives striving to impact society and their communities through their creative writing, visual images, music, and dance. Educational scholars such as Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnath call for empowering youth through facilitating change and giving voice to children and young adults in the face of adversity. This panel discussion speaks directly to ethical issues in advising and mentoring students in citizenship and community life, as well as, social responsibility in one’s community. It is imperative to note that knowledge is not neutral and when guiding students in controversial or difficult discussions it is necessary that leaders pose questions that build upon young adults’ prior knowledge and experiences towards the joint construction of knowledge. This group of educational scholars and youth arts program directors will discuss their experiences in mentoring young adults during a day-long youth art summit held at the University of Northern Iowa in the summer of 2017. Local youth arts program directors including Alyssa Bruecken of the Waterloo Writing Project, Heidi Fuchtman of Youth Art Team, Dr. Shuaib Meacham of Arts to End Violence, and program coordinator Emmett Phillips of Children and Family Urban Movement of Des Moines, join UNI faculty and instructors Dr. Wendy Miller, Angela Waseskuk, and Dr. Courtney Clausen in discussing their experiences in mentoring a group of 80 youth from both the Cedar Valley and Des Moines area. The conversation will include the leaders’ experiences in guiding youth in critical thinking and ethical leadership in advocating for the arts at local, state, and federal levels. The panel participants will also discuss the interactive creative workshops which created bridges between local ecology, technology, public art, printmaking, and fashion and the students’ prior experiences. These workshops served as venues to guide student learning through creative expression by mentoring students and giving them a voice in which to become active and ethical citizens grounded in social responsibility.
Available at: http://0-works.bepress.com.library.simmons.edu/shuaib_meacham/24/