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February 22, 2011 / pcatcityartsri

Tiffany’s Bio

1.     Name: Tiffany

2.     Year: 2012

3.     Major/Minor: Public Community Service/Biology

4.     Hometown: Brentwood, NY

5.     Photography experience: No much besides taking pictures of my friends and family J

6.     What are your reasons for taking this class?  I always love the feeling of taking photos

            with my younger cousins at family gatherings. The enthusiasm and appreciation younger

            children have to use a camera and take photos is always surprising. This class allows me

            relive the same experience I get at home every week, while working with my City Art

            friend. Nothing puts a smile on my face than seeing City Art friend enjoying himself

            through photography.

7.     Explain your idea of community: My ideal community is compose of diverse individuals

            working together in a peaceful harmony. A place where love, passion, friendship, and

            acceptance are shown through one’s  actions.

8.     Who is your City Art Artist buddy? Alex

9.     What is your service experience (scope of service experience): I have been doing

            service form the age of six through my girl scouting. Recently, my service entails

            volunteering my time at Elmhurst Extended Health Care, St. Mary’s Group Home,

Youth Pride, and St. Patrick’s Academy. Each place is very diverse, giving me new challenges and a new learning experience.

10.     Do you have any previous connection to South Providence community? This is my

            first time working with South Providence and I am grateful to have the opportunity to do

            so.

11.     What is your favorite part of the Providence (Providence College) Community? My

            favorite part of Providence College’s community comes being a friar. One I entered into

            Providence College, I gained an additional four-thousand plus siblings. I love the close

connection each student has with one another and the willingness to support each other. Providence College is truly my second family!

12.     What did you want to be when you grew up when you were your buddy’s age? I

always wanted and still do to become a veterinarian.

13.     Did you ever take any art classes when you were younger? I never had the chance to

            take art classes when I was younger. The elementary and middle school did not offer

            strong art courses. I really wish I did though! I love being creative and working with my

            hands and art is able to capture both.

14.     Was there art in your school? Yes, there was in my high school. However, I never felt

            comfortable in taking art class. I never thought that my artwork would be as amazing

            than my fellow peers.

15.     What is the place of art in a community? To me, art is a collection of physical and 

            imaginative things being brought together by the members of the community. The

            community as a whole is the art.

16.     What is the place of art, specifically in your own community? In my own community,    

                art is shown most at the local park. Both children and families would gather and play, dance,

                listen to music, and use chalk to express whom they really are.

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February 22, 2011 / pcatcityartsri

Community building

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In class on Tuesday, we talked about how we don’t feel like there is a strong community yet in the Cityarts classroom. So, we created a lesson plan to work on just that. On Friday, we paired up students from the older photo class with students in the younger class so that they could get to know one another and talk. We also went outside and all played together on the playground. We let the Cityartists decide what they wanted to do; some took pictures of each other, some played on the jungle-gym, and others talked to their PC mentors. In my opinion, it was a successful class because I think I formed a much stronger relationship with the Cityartists and got to know some of the PC students better also. Now that we have begun to form a community in the classroom, I think that the Cityartists will be more talkative in class and will be more open to sharing with one another. I know that a close community does not suddenly arise after an hour of hanging out on the playground, but so far I think that we are off to a great start!

February 22, 2011 / pcatcityartsri

City Arts Video!

February 21, 2011 / pcatcityartsri

Nick’s Bio

1. Name: Nicholas V. Longo

2. Title: Director of Global Studies and Associate Professor, Public and Community Service Studies

3. Hometown: Yonkers, NY

4. How long have you been involved in the Providence College Community? I actually graduated from Providence College in 1996, so I was a student in the very early days of the Feinstein Institute I then came back as a faculty member in Public and Community Service Studies and to direct the Global Studies program in 2008.

5. Do you have any previous connection to South Providence community? We lived in South Providence right near CityArts for a few years and Aleida Benitez, my wife, works at CityArts, so we are very invested in this community.

6. What is your favorite part of the Providence (Providence College) Community? I love the students at Providence College and the way they put their passion and idealism into action through courses like this.

7. What community organizations have you and do you work with in Providence? Almost all of the courses I teach have a community engagement component of some kind, so I partner with a lot of community organizations in Providence. But I’ve only taught a few courses like this one in which the entire class partners with a specific community partner, like CityArts, which I find to be a much more powerful model for reciprocal and meaningful learning.

8. What is the place of art in a community? I’ve learned that art isn’t just something you go passively look at hanging on the walls of a museum; it is also something we can all create. Thus, I’m most interested in the way community-based art—or the art of everyday life—is not only part of a community, but also helps to create community. Things like community murals or community photography projects, for instance, bring diverse people together to create something that is sustainable and has real, public value. And this idea of art is at the fabric of just about every vibrant community—along with this course.

9. What is the place of art, specifically in your own community? My wife, Aleida, works at CityArts, has a masters in art education, and wrote her thesis about “treasures in our community” examining how art makes your house a home. She found that art evokes memory, creates comfort, and is often passed down from generation to generation. She tells a story about the famous Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, and how when he was a young child he loved to draw on the walls of his house. Most parents would yell at their child, but Diego’s parents encouraged him by putting canvasses all around the house. He went on to become the most famous muralist of our time.

That’s the way we all should think about encouraging the artistic talents of youth. And we should be trying to build communities with this kind of ethos. We try to do this with our kids, Maya and Noah, and I think it’s really the essence of why an organization like CityArts plays such a vital role in the Southside community. It creates space for youth to be and do artist, while being recognized by their families and the broader community. By cultivating the artistic talents of young people (talents they often don’t even know they have), CityArts is doing for kids in the community what Diego Rivera’s parents did for him.

10. What motivated you to create and instruct this course? I’ve always had an interest in the role art can play in rebuilding and sustaining community and even used photography in a few urban leadership courses I taught for inner city high school students in St. Paul, Minnesota while I was a graduate student. But I’ve never had any artistic background—or talent—so I’m pretty limited in my ability to teach a course like this. My wife, Aleida, is the community-based art educator in our family.

But then when Eric Sung and I started at Providence College the same year [in 2008] we had a lot of chances to talk about our mutual interests and desire to teach a service-learning course together. He’s such a committed teacher and unbelievably talented photographer that I jumped at the chance to teach with him. So we decided to pilot the course this year. At first we were planning to do a course together around community photography internationally, but we decided to try teaching it locally first—before adding the international component in the future.

Eric and I then had a series of conversations with the staff at CityArts and they were really excited to partner with us. We knew that CityArts is one of the cutting edge-arts organizations in Providence working with youth and they saw some of the resources our students could bring to their young artists.

So, we had the partnership developed, but we weren’t really sure how much interest there would be in the course among PC students given the tremendous amount of commitment the course would require (including spending each Friday afternoon teaching at CityArts), but it filled during pre-registration (and is even overenrolled) and we also had some public service alumni, including Adj Marshall, offer to participate and help with the course.

Because we wanted to really do this course well this first time (we didn’t want to be experimenting with a new course at the expense of our community partner), we also wanted to find a community faculty member to teach the course with us. We were lucky that Chandelle Wilson, a young community leader who studied photography at RISD—and AS220 before that—was willing to co-teach the course as a community instructor and her contribution has been invaluable.

We were also committed to having this course be led by the students, so we tried to develop each aspect of the course in a collaborative manner that sees our students as colleagues and co-creators. Thus, much like the content we are studying, the development and teaching of this course is about community practice.

11. What are your plans for the future for this course? Our hope is to continue the partnership with CityArts, but also develop an international component to the course. The next time we teach the course, we’d like to have students teach a photography workshop over spring break in Latin America, as well. But we also want to remain open to learning from this first experiment: being able to see what the community lens teaches all of us and letting that guide what the future of this idea should become.

February 21, 2011 / pcatcityartsri

Kate’s Bio

1. Name: Kate Nolan

2. Year: 2014

3. Major/Minor: Undecided!

4. Hometown: Hanover, Massachusetts

5. Photography experience: Not much besides taking random pictures 🙂

6. What are your reasons for taking this class? I’m interested in community service and photography, therefore this was perfect!

7. Explain your idea of community: Community to me is the bringing together of all different types of people with different backgrounds, different interests, and different ways of life, where they can learn from one another and most of all gain new experiences that allow them to work together and do amazing things.

8. Who is your City Art Artist buddy? Ashara, Eva and Stephanie

9. What is your service experience (scope of service experience): I have spent a lot of time in my life working with some amazing tennis players that my Mom coaches for the Special Olympics and most recently have gotten involved with a non-profit grass-roots soccer organization called OA Projects.

10. Do you have any previous connection to South Providence community? I do not.

11. What is your favorite part of the Providence (Providence College) Community? My favorite part about the Providence College community would probably be the sense of pride at any of the basketball games. There’s a feeling of togetherness at the games that is much stronger than anywhere else on campus.

12. What did you want to be when you grew up when you were your buddy’s age? I think I wanted to be Harriet the Spy.

13. Did you ever take any art classes when you were younger? Only in school, but last summer I took a ceramics class.

14. Was there art in your school? There were many art classes offered at the schools I attended. The art program at my high-school was the smallest program out of the others and was also the most looked down upon. In my own opinion it was the best taught out of the whole school.

15. What is the place of art in a community? I believe art allows for an expression that may not necessarily be as easily accepted. It also allows for a message to be portrayed in a peaceful and lasting manner.

16. What is the place of art, specifically in your own community? In my own community art and its effect is very minimal. Besides at the schools there are very few ways that art can be expressed. There are no museums or programs such as CityArts where art can serve as such an amazing way of education.

 

February 20, 2011 / pcatcityartsri

Playground Adventures!!!

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February 18, 2011 / pcatcityartsri

Newsletters

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