Investigating Appalachia’s Highlander Folk School through Socially-Engaged Art
Greg Pond has received funding from the Collaborative for a course-development project titled “Investigating Appalachia’s Highlander Folk School through Socially-Engaged Art.” Collaborating with him on this project are: Harrell Fletcher from Portland State University, Molly Sherman from Texas State University, Anna Craycroft from Yale University, and Emily Senefeld, doctoral candidate in History at the University of Virginia.
“This proposal seeks funding for the development of a new inquiry-based art course and the research, curation, and production of an accompanying exhibition and publication that examines the various sites, histories, and impacts of the Highlander Folk School. Our collaborative approach will provide opportunities for students to visualize, record, and reflect on Highlander’s history through socially-engaged art. The form and content of the exhibition and publication will extend out of our research processes and findings.
The project will introduce an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding and production of socially-engaged art projects through place-based experiential learning. Students will be encouraged to use a broad range of approaches in response to the site including keeping journals, activating archives, taking field trips, and producing oral histories. The exhibition content will be conceptualized and created by the students and faculty in cooperation with Highlander Research and Education Center, Sewanee, and Yale. The exhibition will engage gallery visitors in dialogue on topics ranging from folk education and placed-based art practices to collaboration and community organizing. The publication will document the project, academic course, and student work; serve as a creative resource for artists, activists, and educators; and be distributed at the galleries and archived in the libraries of Yale, Sewanee, and Highlander.”