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Bartol Blog

Learn what is happening in the field of arts education and teaching artistry. Past blog posts with links to resources can be found by searching or by clicking on a category below. Check in often as we update our blog and link to local and national resources.

Get to Know the Micro-Grantee: Candy Gonzalez

While you originally applied to the Bartol Foundation Teaching Artist Micro-Grant for a specific project, we realized this project likely was postponed or perhaps changed altogether.  How are you adapting your project or using this grant differently to support your teaching artist practice?

When I applied to Bartol’s Teaching Artist Micro-Grant, the student leaders of Allianza Latinx and Black Student Union at MCAD and I were organizing an art critique for students of color. I was in the process of developing a trauma-informed, facilitator-led critique model that could be used at that event. This project was born out of a serious need for healthy, thoughtful and productive critique spaces for student artists. This event was, of course, canceled due to the quarantine but the heart of the project, the radical re-imagination of critique spaces, stills beats strong. I am continuing to develop the critique model I proposed in my application and will be creating a toolkit that art students can use to create/maintain healthy student organizations and to host trauma-informed critiques themselves.

Has the quarantine resulted opportunities to take your practice online in any way?  If so, tell us about it.

These days, I am feeling grateful that I have been able to start a trauma-competency certification program through the Lakeside Global Institute online, as well as the opportunity to complete the Group Facilitation course I started before the quarantine. I am taking this time as an opportunity to polish the tools I need to help create sustainable support systems for art students of color. Additionally, I am continuing to teach visual art online, which presents a unique set of challenges–the result of which has been me learning to be more clear with verbal directions during art demos. 

When do you know your work is making a difference?

The current challenges for freelancers and contract workers are great. With the unemployment rate higher than it has ever been, with small organizations being gravely impacted by the COVID-19 quarantine, with a society the systemically undervalues the arts, the art community at-large will have to fight tooth and nail for the financial support it deserves. Freelance artists and teaching artists will be uniquely affected at a time when art has proven to sustain emotional health but is still not given the recognition it deserves. Art is not a commodity, it’s a necessity. Access to the arts should not be a privilege when it should be a fundamental right. Where challenges abound so does enlightenment. Personally, I am taking this time radically re-envision art education. I know I am not alone in this endeavor.

There is also value in sharing challenges.  If you are comfortable doing this, what are some of the challenges that you are dealing with? Short-term? Long-term? Who knows?

The current challenges for freelancers and contract workers are great. With the unemployment rate higher than it has ever been, with small organizations being gravely impacted by the COVID-19 quarantine, with a society the systemically undervalues the arts, the art community at-large will have to fight tooth and nail for the financial support it deserves. Freelance artists and teaching artists will be uniquely affected at a time when art has proven to sustain emotional health but is still not given the recognition it deserves. Art is not a commodity, it’s a necessity. Access to the arts should not be a privilege when it should be a fundamental right. Where challenges abound so does enlightenment. Personally, I am taking this time radically re-envision art education. I know I am not alone in this endeavor.

Have you found moments of creativity or grace in the past few months?

The imposed stillness of the past couple of months made space for tenderness to rise to the surface. Rather than run away from the tenderness as I am wont to do, I chose to sit with it. This experience made clear the stories that I need to share with others and effectively planted some creative seeds. 

And always our favorite question.  Best. (Quarantine) Snack. Ever.

Takis with a sprinkle of lime.

 

Part of a continuing series featuring our 2020 Bartol Micro-Grantees.

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