CSU presents Social Justice Thru the Arts 2022

Social Justice Thru the Arts 2019 selfies displayed

The Alliance Partnership, Women Studies and Gender Research, Department of Ethnic Studies, Department of Art and Art History and the College of Liberal Arts are proud to present the program Social Justice Thru the Arts 2022. 

The one-week workshop teaches basic social justice concepts and advocacy through integrated work and exploration in the arts. The two sessions will be held from Tuesday, May 31 to Sunday, June 5th, with an exhibition on June 5-12 in the Nancy Richardson Design Center, and on June 13 – Aug. 15 in the Visual Arts Building on the Colorado State University campus. 

“Social Justice Thru the Arts, like all the other Alliance Summer Institutes at CSU, works with 10 Colorado high schools promoting a college-going culture,” said Patricia Vigil, director of Alliance and University Partnership Relations at CSU, adding that participating schools have high numbers of students who are first generation, racially and ethnically diverse, and part of the free and reduced lunch program.

Collaboration across differences

Social Justice Thru the Arts 2019 dance performance

Students collaborate alongside CSU faculty, students and community educators through teambuilding, intercultural dialogue, and collaboration across differences, nurturing individual and collective voices and fostering community dialog by emphasizing skills that promote social justice advocacy. In the process, they not only learn what a career in the arts through a social justice lens looks and feels like, but also how the arts fit into their lives and communities by addressing issues of equity, belonging, access and justice, as well as how the creative process is a part of all our stories. 

“Our social justice framework uses power, privilege and differences to engage participants about their identities, histories and communities,” said Caridad Souza, SJTA coordinator in the Department of Ethnic Studies. “We emphasize collaborative learning among community educators, students and faculty through team building, intercultural dialogue, nurturing individual and collective voice, and fostering communication across differences.” 

SJTA 2022 will return to the Visual Arts Building for the workshop portion of the program, specifically in the Art Education Area, led by Claire Chien, assistant professor of Art Education.

Paying tribute

“We wanted to pay our respect to Patrick Fahey, past head of Art Education, who opened the door of the Department of Art and Art History to SJTA back in 2018,” said Silvia Minguzzi, SJTA coordinator for the Department of Art and Art History. “Fahey recently passed away. This is our small way to keep his memory alive and show our deepest appreciation for the person and the academic, who since the beginning believed in us and showed his support to this program.” 

This year participants will have the unique opportunity to learn from skilled teachers, from each other, from themselves and from history. Fort Collins-based multimedia artist Louise Cutler will also join the Social Justice Thru the Arts team empowering youth through creative expression. 

“I consider one’s art an extension of one’s life,” Cutler said. “My work, whether painting, drawing, writing, gardening or performing is a visual or written translation of my life, feelings, people I have encountered, places I have been and things I have seen.”

About Louise Cutler

social justice thru the arts
Fort Collins-based multimedia artist Louise Cutler recently joined the Social Justice Thru the Arts team.

Cutler’s latest paintings combine her love of gardening and fashion design. She studied fashion at the International Academy of Merchandise and Design in Chicago and graduated with a tailoring certificate from Dunbar Vocational High School. Drawing has always come naturally to her; as a child, she drew continually. In grade school, her desks were often filled with pencil and crayon drawings of homes, cars, playgrounds and people. She loved making images using clay and would often create an entire world. Her imagination was her way of escaping some of the harsh realities of life while growing up in the early sixties in urban America. www.louisecutlerstudio.com 

Social Justice Thru the Arts culminates with an exhibition, opening on Sunday, June 5 in the Richardson Design Center, and on display until June 12. 

From June 12 – Aug. 15 the exhibition will move into the Visual Arts Building, to add another piece to the Engaged Art Walk, an arts-based community building project and an exhibition space that features rotating installations that integrate art, society and education. SJTA is also included in the DEIJ effort by the Department of Art and Art History.

About the SJTA workshop

May 31- June 5 

Art Education Area, Visual Arts Building 

Exhibition (free and open to the public) 

June 5-12 

Richardson Design Center 

522 W. Lake Street, CSU Campus 

Opening and reception: Sunday, June 5, 1 p.m. 

June 13 – Aug. 15 

Visual Arts Building 

551 W. Pitkin Street, CSU Campus

About SJTA

Social Justice Thru the Arts is part of the summer institutes hosted by the CSU Alliance Partnership. Funding is provided by the CSU College of Liberal Arts and the CSU Alliance Partnership. Additional support and space use is provided by CSU Women’s Studies and Gender Research and the Department of Art and Art History.