Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thoughtful posts

Browsing the Internet this morning, I came across a couple of very thoughtful posts on art, upcoming shows and arts education in America.

Fung has curated ten collaborative groups to create projects in multiple sites throughout this neighborhood including public venues and community organizations. The project features forty-six artists, including those currently living in San Francisco, and other artists both nationally and internationally located. Wonderland began as a graduate level course taught by Fung at the San Francisco Art Institute. According to the press release, Wonderland is “born of and responds to” the diversities of the Tenderloin. The show’s primary audience is cited as those who live or work in the Tenderloin. Later the press release states that it will transform the Tenderloin into a destination for tourists, opening on October 17th for the duration of one month. Wonderland is sponsored by the North of Market Community Benefit District and several galleries in the area including the 1AM Gallery and Ever Gold Gallery.
Those are the facts: the title, the neighborhood and the project. To be honest, my research about Wonderland has raised a lot of complicated feelings and concerns for me—many of which are difficult to articulate and relate to many broader issues I have attempted to address here on Open Space; questions related to public art, to socially engaged art practices, to gentrification and  specifically to San Francisco’s uneven economic and social landscape.

Should Arts Education Hitch its Wagon to 21st Century Skills?
In most respects this couldn't be more timely, as the upcoming forum of the Arts Education Partnership is focused heavily on 21st Century skills, and features none other than Ken Kay, President of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Mr. Kay is also the CEO and Founder of the E-Luminate Group, which is an "education consulting firm specializing in marketing communications and 21st century skills services." (I have enough on my hands with one job, you have to wonder how Mr. Kay can be the CEO of one company and the President of another...)
Many think the critics of 21st Century skills are overreacting and failing to recognize that the P21 movement has indeed embraced content. Those concerned about P21 see it as something that is untethered from content and therefore disconnected from quality teaching and learning. They also believe that it is nothing new but the rehashing of an old educational fad.
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