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Events and Learning Cohorts

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PRESENCE—Art for Social Change (An Interactive Workshop)

Sat 09.18.21 @ 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM CDT

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Can art nurture relationships between people? Can artmaking foster positive social change? For artist, educator, and community facilitator, Leah Samuelson, the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes.”


We know that art can be used to educate and inform. But it is also a powerful means to encourage social transformation. To achieve this, Leah believes that there is a powerful case to be made for how the methodology of and participation in making art can generate change.


Samuelson views art in the context of community. But this workshop is not solely about art for community, it is also about developing a community that makes art for itself.


Based on Pablo Helguera’s book Education for Socially Engaged Art (2011), Leah will present four different ways that you can invite others to participate in your art, including examples and facilitated discussion to evaluate how these methods can meaningfully serve community engagement. Though authentic contextualization is not easily codified, balancing realism and imagination, Leah has developed basic tenets and growth components to leverage art for social change no matter the context.


If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage the arts for engagement, join us for this stimulating and highly interactive Saturday morning workshop.

Event Type

In-Person at Upper House.

Speaker Bio

Leah Samuelson is a community artist who works with collaborative painting and mosaic processes. She specializes in the role of the arts in society specifically regarding the evolving relationships between arts and their audiences. She is a former instructor of Drawing and Community Art at Wheaton College. Her undergraduate degree is in Studio Art from Wheaton with a concentration in Drawing, and her graduate degree is in Urban Studies: Arts in Transformation from Eastern University.


Photo credit: Sean O’Meallie



Sat 09.18.21
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM CDT
Event Category: