Arts for Change

Teaching Outside the Frame

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A provocative, personal look at the motivations and challenges of teaching socially engaged arts, Arts for Change overturns conventional arts pedagogy with an activist's passion for creating art that matters.

How can polarized groups work together to solve social and environmental problems? How can art be used to raise consciousness? Using candid examination of her own university teaching career as well as broader social and historical perspectives, Beverly Naidus answers these questions, guiding the reader through a progression of steps to help students observe the world around them and craft artistic responses to what they see. Interviews with over 30 arts education colleagues provide additional strategies for successfully engaging students in what, to them, is most meaningful.

Beverly Naidus works in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program at the University of Washington in Tacoma, where she is co-creating a studio arts program (Arts in Community) with a focus on art for social change and healing.


Title Arts for Change
Subtitle Teaching Outside the Frame
Publisher New Village Press
BISAC Subject Heading ART000000 ART
ART027000 ART / Study & Teaching
EDU021000 EDUCATION / Non-Formal Education
Audience 01 General / trade
Credit Beverly Naidus
Title First Published 01 April 2009
Subject Scheme Identifier Code      93 Thema subject category: AB      93 Thema subject category: JNU      93 Thema subject category: JNF
Includes Bibliography; Appendices



Preface: An Anchor
First, Eat a Rose

Prologue: Present Moment

Chapter 1: Words as a Compass
An Expansive View
Relaxing into Theory
They Sing, Therefore They Will Pay

Chapter 2: Avoiding Amnesia
History Lesson #1: Ancient Roots
History Lesson #2: The WPA
History Lesson #3: Red Scare Redux
History Lesson #4: The Cold War Chills the Art World
Cracks in the Folds

Chapter 3: How an Art Practice Morphs into Pedagogy
Stories of Mrs. Generic
Art Ed, Revised
Liberatory Education
Subverting in the Museum
A More Distinct Definition of Community Art Practices
Then Find a Garden
Activist Art in Community

Chapter 4: Facilitating an Interdisciplinary Arts Curriculum
Arts in Community at the University of Washington, Tacoma
The Current Curriculum: Teaching Art to Non-Majors
Eco-Art: Creating Art in Response to the Environmental Crisis
Art in a Time of War
Body Image and Art
Labor, Globalization, and Art
Cultural Identity and Art
Idealism Aside: What Makes this Work Really Hard
Pulling Apart the Questions in the Creases

Chapter 5: My Peers: Who Can't Be Easily Framed (Thank Goodness)
Martha Rosler
Suzanne Lacy
Amalia Mesa Bains
Stephanie Anne Johnson
Deborah Barndt
Olivia Gude
Krzysztof Wodiczko
Sheila Pinkel
Nancy Buchanan
David Haley
Richard Kamler
Sharon Siskin
Fred Lonidier
Ruth Wallen
Ruthann Godollei
Greg Sholette
Jerri Allyn
Karen Atkinson
Keith Hennessey
Ann Rosenthal
Mindy Nierenberg
Ju-Pong Lin
John Jota Leaños
In the Fertile Margins
Magdalena Gomez
Loraine Leeson
Devora Neumark
Jane Trowell
Elaine Carol
John Jordan
The Next Generation
Emily Caigan
Sarah Kanouse
John Feodorov
Beth Ferguson
Strengthening the Immune System

Chapter 6: Toward a Liberatory Art Practice
Considering Cuba, A Frame Unhinged
Good Intentions, Rotten Pie
The Dream Behind the Nightmare
The Crack in the Now
Folding in the Roar


Socially Engaged Art Bibliography


About the Author


Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship
Jun 18, 2012
Given the longstanding relationship between the arts and social change, one might approach Beverly Naidus' Arts for Change with a wary eye. However, the book is a refreshing surprise and a welcome addition to the literature on socially engaged teaching practices. Naidus does an excellent job of drawing in all kinds of readers by weaving story and academic reflection together as opposing yet familiar textures. The overall effect is a powerful account in which theory develops through history, personal story, and the words of others, making Arts for Change an enlightening read.

- Kelly Campbell-Busby, Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

"Beverly Naidus' warm and serious pedagogic memoir should ring bells with educators everywhere. I have long admired her commitment to an alternative path in teaching art and social justice without contradictions. Her personal and political odyssey, and the thumbnail portraits of her artist colleagues/mentors offer an illuminating glimpse beyond the academic curtain."
- Lucy R. Lippard, art critic, activist, curator, author

Community Arts Network
Apr 1, 2009
"Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame" is just the sort of book that reassures socially engaged educators that they are not alone. Part memoir, part historical narrative, part resource guide, Naidus' book summons in an accessible and easy-to-read format her experiences, challenges and advice from years of working in the field. Through this very personal account, Naidus asks us to pinpoint the critical figures and moments in our own lives. Who are those educators that taught us to learn? What are the ideas that give our practices theoretical grounding? And what social values ensure that our work stays rooted in the fundamental proposition of change?

- Anusha Venkataraman, Community Arts Network

Midwest Book Review
Sep 1, 2009

Art can be a powerful thing, saying much with little or no words. "Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame" is an exploration of art and its place in campaigning for change in today's society. Discussing art and its applications to countless issues, and how people have empowered themselves through it, "Arts for Change" is a look at arts, politics, and culture as a whole through modern America. "Arts for Change" is an intriguing read, especially recommended for those who transmit messages through their art.

This review is also on Amazon
- Midwest Book Review

Art educators, unlike Mathematics or Language teachers, are frequently confronted with the need to justify their place in school. There is a long history of art teachers constantly fighting budget, space and time constraints. In schools, Art is often seen as a commodity meant for consumption as publicity, decoration or in support of holidays or else it is valued and supported when it is linked to other subjects.

- Andrea Avila, Canadian Art Teacher

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