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Units February 28, 2022

Art Attacks!

Lesson Summary: Participants use arts-based exercises and techniques to explore civic history and engagement. They engage with multiple texts and guided discussions, practice mindfulness and personal reflection, reflect their learning using visual and performing arts, and ultimately compose protest signs that can be used to challenge injustices in their communities. Downloads: Unit resources
SECTIONS


This unit was created by the Art Attacks! Program from Creative Acts in southern California, as part of the 2021 cohort of The 1619 Project Education Network. It is designed for facilitation across approximately four sessions that are two hours each.

Objectives

Participants will…

1. Increase knowledge of the benefits of civic engagement for communities.

2. Connect historical events with current circumstances and encourage students to take action through analysis of primary source documents, podcast episodes from The 1619 Project, poetry, and music.

3. Increase students’ awareness of the power of their voices through historical examples of youth and BIPOC-led movements.

4. Create protest signs that reflect the impacts of underreported issues they explored in the unit and/or actions they think should be taken to combat injustices in their communities.

Unit Overview

Art Attacks! uses arts-based exercises and techniques to teach civic history and engagement to youth in juvenile camps and halls. The program is specifically designed to cater to the needs of incarcerated youth, but can be easily adapted for other young adult audiences.

The Art Attacks! Program, which was created by the nonprofit organization Creative Acts, is designed to civically engage students in youth prisons in Los Angeles county. Using artistic approaches, such as theatre exercises, written and drawn art and music, we impart the importance of civic engagement in a relevant, impactful way. We engage students in discussions about how voting can be a tool to make change in participants’ communities. We also use the Arts as a vessel to teach the reality of American history, and to guide participants in better understanding the roots and branches of the “justice” system and the struggle for civil rights.

Students engage with multiple texts and guided discussions, practice mindfulness and personal reflection, and reflect their learning using multiple art forms. Students ultimately apply their learning by creating protest signs that can be used to challenge injustices in their communities.

Performance Task

The culmination of this program will be the creation of protest signs that students will create using art supplies. Signs should demonstrate what systemic changes have been identified as most meaningful to students and how they will become involved in their communities when returning to their homes.

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