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Community-based art practices within a public school setting : a case study Chwelos, Cyndy 2004

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COMMUNITY-BASED ART PRACTICES WITHIN A PUBLIC SCHOOL SETTING: A CASE STUDY By Cyndy Chwelos E.C.E. C e r t i f i c a t i o n , Vancouver Community College 1998 Montessori I n t e r n a t i o n a l Teaching C e r t i f i c a t e , Toronto 1984 B.F.A., U n i v e r s i t y of Saskatchewan, 1983 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULLFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS In THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Curriculum Studies) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the req u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y , 2004 Copyright Cyndy Chwelos, 2004 Library Authorization In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Name of Author (please print) Dat^dd/rrftn/yyyy) Title of Thesis: LomMonily- b a s e d aA- p rac t i ces "''^i*  cn public S c h o o l Se~rVîft^  A case 6H \dy  Degree: ft, A. Year: zoo1* Department of C u m ' c u l SiuAieS The University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC Canada Abstract Through t h i s r e s e a r c h , I examined community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s and community engagement a s s o c i a t e d with a p u b l i c elementary school a r t i s t - i n - r e s i d e n c y . As the a r t i s t , I s e c o n d a r i l y i n c l u d e d d e l i b e r a t i o n on my own p r a c t i c e s as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent and r e s e a r c h e r working with c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n i n e d u c a t i o n a l s e t t i n g s . N a r r a t i v e i n q u i r y and ethnography were used to c o l l e c t m u l t i p l e p e r s p e c t i v e s t h a t i n c l u d e d i n t e r v i e w s , photographic images, and w r i t t e n t e x t s from myself, the students who c r e a t e d a l a r g e ceramic t i l e mural, parents, school s t a f f , and the community-at-large. Through i n q u i r y i n t o t h e i r c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e s , 125 students c r e a t e d a permanent community-based a r t space i n the main f o y e r of t h e i r p u b l i c s c h o o l . Upon completion of the p r o j e c t I in t e r v i e w e d the students, parents, teachers, support s t a f f and some members of the school's broader community. Our s e m i - s t r u c t u r e d c o n v e r s a t i o n s focused on notio n s of meaning-making and r e l e v a n c y through community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s . The h i s t o r i c a l context of community-based art practices was examined to help analyze the r e l a t i o n a l threads s p e c i f i c to encouraging community engagement. From thi s review I selected c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of community-based art practices such as voice, iden t i t y , empowerment, a c c e s s i b i l i t y and s o c i a l change. I refer to these throughout the research and come to understand i n my own way, how they coexist as multiple access points of community-based art practices. The study indicated that the students' art practices created meaning and relevancy for themselves, t h e i r parents, teachers, and the community-at-large through community engagement. In conclusion, t h i s study indicated that, for art educators and others working within c u l t u r a l production community-based art practices can enable students to part i c i p a t e i n community engagement by forming a stronger connection between each other and by building a sense of belonging to t h e i r own community. Table of Contents Abstract "- i i Table of Contents i v L i s t Of Tables v i Acknowledgments v i i Dedication ix CHAPTER ONE : How the Story Began 1 CHAPTER TWO: How the Story Unfolds 9 My Story 11 Characteristics of Community-Based Art Practices 19 Voice 19 Identity 20 Empowerment 22 A c c e s s i b i l i t y 25 Social Change 26 Conclusion 28 CHAPTER THREE: A Case Study 30 CHAPTER FOUR: What I Found 72 Voice 74 Identity 79 Empowerment 8 6 A c c e s s i b i l i t y 78 Social Change 90 Additional Findings 96 Conclusion 105 CHAPTER FIVE : Where to Now 109 References: 129 Appendix 135 Interview questions 136 Interview questions 137 Demographics: Home Languages 138 Demographics: B i r t h Country 139 Permission form 140 Permission form 142 (1) Recording interview findings 34 (2) Copy of Fax 35 (3) Copy of Fax 36 (4) Student drawing design p r i n c i p l e s 40 (5) Student presentation i . . 4 1 (6) Detail of student t i l e 42 (7) Detail of student t i l e 42 (8) Detail of student t i l e 4 3 (9) Image of student and t i l e 43 (10) Image of student and t i l e 44 (11) Detail of student t i l e 45 (12) Image of student and t i l e .......46 (13) Detail of student t i l e 47 (14) Image of student and t i l e 48 (15) Detail of student t i l e 48 (16) Image of student and t i l e 49 (17) Image of student and t i l e 50 (18) Images of students painting 51 (19) Image of the teacher and student collaborating .52 (20) Copy of a student l e t t e r 55 (21) Copy of a student l e t t e r 56 (22) Copy of a student l e t t e r 57 (23) Image of a student glazing 58 (24) Image of students at the i n s t a l l a t i o n 62 (25) Image of the completed mural 65 (2 6) Image of the completed mural 65 (27) Image of a students poster project 67 (28) Image of a students' family tree 68 (29) Image of a students' research 69 (30) Image of student t i l e 115 (31) Image of student t i l e 116 Acknowledgments I would l i k e t o thank t h e e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l community who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e r e s e a r c h f o r t h i s p r o j e c t . In p a r t i c u l a r , I thank t h e grade 5 and 6 s t u d e n t s and t h e i r p a r e n t s who e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y p a r t i c i p a t e d i n c r e a t i n g t h e c e r a m i c t i l e m u ral p r o j e c t and t o t h e Vancouver S c h o o l Board f o r g r a n t i n g me p e r m i s s i o n t o conduct t h e r e s e a r c h . I would l i k e t o acknowledge A r t S t a r t s i n S c h o o l s who awarded us an A r t S m a r t s g r a n t e n a b l i n g t h i s p r o j e c t t o happen. As w e l l , thank you t o t h e P a r e n t A d v i s o r y Board a t the s c h o o l who f i n a n c i a l l y s u p p o r t e d t h e c r e a t i o n o f t h i s p u b l i c a r t space. Thank you t o my a d v i s o r Don Krug who encouraged me t o c o n s i d e r t h a t the t h e s i s was a p a t h w i t h much t o g a i n . Even though I r e p e a t e d l y c h a l l e n g e d t h i s i n s i g h t , I would have t o say, t h a t you were r i g h t , Don. For t h i s I am e x t r e m e l y g r a t e f u l . I would a l s o l i k e t o acknowledge Don's c o n t i n u a l s u p p o r t , r e s e a r c h and t h o u g h t f u l s u g g e s t i o n s on community-based engagement which g u i d e d me t o new spaces o f c l a r i t y . You've been a s t e l l a r a d v i s o r . Thank you t o K i t Grauer and L i n d a F a r r D a r l i n g f o r t h e i r c a r e f u l and t h o u g h t f u l r e a d i n g s o f t h i s work. My work on th i s thesis project has been supported with i n s p i r a t i o n , encouragement, ideas and suggestions from the following people: Karen C o f l i n who started me on t h i s path 7 years ago by i n s i s t i n g that I was the " r i g h t " a r t i s t to c o - f a c i l i t a t e a community based art experience. Thank you to Elizabeth Mackenzie who saw me through the highs and lows of t h i s thesis project. Her b e l i e f i n my work has always been unwavering and often guided my investigation with exceptional insights. I want to acknowledge Joan Borsa whose wisdom and c l a r i t y around what's r e a l l y important i n l i f e always sets me back on the right track. F i n a l l y and most importantly I would l i k e to acknowledge, my husband Michael Morrison and daughter Nina Chwelos. They supported my research by reminding me "not to forget the joys and potential growth for the uncharted," (Shields, 2001) and i n so doing, provided me the time, space and encouragement to embark on t h i s journey. DEDICATION I dedicate t h i s thesis to my parents Kay and John Chwelos. They i n s t i l l e d i n me at a young age the idea th relationships amongst each other make us who we are and that our l i v e s are richer for them. C H A P T E R O N E HOW T H E S T O R Y B E G A N I entered the academic arena almost two years ago with a notion of reshaping my l i f e s t y l e so as to include art, my family l i f e , education, and research. I was searching for a way to combine, synthesize, and r e f l e c t on the potential of a l l these d i f f e r e n t roles i n my l i f e and how they might co-exist with each other. After twenty years, I desired to extend my classroom teaching and yearned for an opportunity that would connect my a r t i s t i c practices more concretely and d i r e c t l y with my community. At the same time, my l i f e as a parent was deeply influenced by the multiple intersections my daughters' b i r t h brought to our family. In p a r t i c u l a r , our family experienced a growing sense of belonging to each other as da i l y reminders of her growth and development emerged through her own a r t i s t i c practices as a creative person. These intersections informed my role as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher. S t i l l , I desired an opportunity to look at these relationships of i d e n t i t y formation i n a mindful way. For many years, my own sense of i d e n t i t y as a teacher/artist resided i n my role as a studio potter and as a Montessori pre-school classroom teacher. A community-based art experience set into motion for me a strong desire to look at how creating collaborative art practices within contextual circumstances could hold meaning for p a r t i c i p a t i n g community members. This experience marked a s h i f t i n my notion of who I was. Thus, i t was here, that t h i s thesis journey began. The location of t h i s case study was a Canadian public school i n the lower mainland of Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. I was p a r t i c u l a r l y interested i n examining how collaborative experiences would affect i n d i v i d u a l connections of community both inside and outside of the school. I was interested i n observing what the students gained by a collaborative exchange of inquiry that would emerge from t h e i r interpretation of t h e i r own h i s t o r i e s , personal experiences, and sense of community. Secondarily, as the a r t i s t who f a c i l i t a t e d the creation of a t i l e mural project at the school, my aim was to provide a greater understanding of my pedagogical role within community-based art practices Over the course of four months the students, teachers and I participated i n inquiry, collaboration, and the integration of knowledge into learning a c t i v i t i e s each day. Through observation, conversations, and the experiences themselves, I wanted to know more about the value community-based art practices held for students rooted i n t h e i r personal h i s t o r i e s as grades f i v e and six students. As Neperud and Krug (1995) pointed out, "Beginning at a l o c a l and community l e v e l , " inquiry should consider "not only the product (object) and the producer ( a r t i s t ) , but also the viewer, the practice, and the c u l t u r a l context at a p a r t i c u l a r time and place" (p.164). In t h i s study, students would explore t h e i r community heritage through language differences using the word -WELCOME. They were asked to interview family members and exchange ideas and stories with each other i n order to enhance t h e i r knowledge of each other and themselves. As Kocur (1996) stated, "Exploring e t h n i c i t y i s not about studying something other than oneself, but about studying our p a r t i c u l a r and c o l l e c t i v e complex c u l t u r a l a f f i l i a t i o n s " (p. 133). I wondered i f the integration of t h e i r family heritages would form meaningful threads that might enhance the value of the c u l t u r a l f a b r i c of t h i s school community. To guide our journey for t h i s case study, I combined methods of narrative inquiry and ethnography. Narrative inquiry provided a way to t e l l the story of community-based art practices as they unfolded. I collected data through f i e l d work, observations, and interviews to represent the d i v e r s i t y of view points associated with the people involved i n the study. Ethnography provided a method to examine the c u l t u r a l attributes of the students' sense of meanings and values within t h e i r own family heritage and with each other. I was interested i n knowing more about th e i r formation of i d e n t i t y and sense of belonging within t h e i r community. I chose these methods because they offered the means in which to investigate the purpose of the study. I wanted to learn more about notions of relevancy and meaning making r e l a t i v e to community-based art practices within an elementary public school. I also wanted to study and i d e n t i f y ways that community-based art practices could provide insight into my own work as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher. However t h i s was not the focus of the research. S t i l l , I am aware that my i d e n t i t y formation and sense of place i s an in t e g r a l part of t h i s case study. These methods provided an approach to research which was f l u i d and emergent, allowing me to examine community-based art•practices as a collaborative and c r i t i c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r . As a c r i t i c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r I drew on my knowledge of c r i t i c a l theory and dimensions of empirical, t h e o r e t i c a l , a n a l y t i c a l , and interpretive research. I drew from past research which has shown that a l l descriptive study i s interpretation. In other words, my voice as a researcher i s central to the text selected for inclu s i o n i n th i s study. I have deliberately examined my observations and interviews with students and other participants by analyzing t h e i r interpretation i n relationship to my own perspective, perspectives of others, and the broader context of reviewed l i t e r a t u r e on community-based art practices. As I began to conduct a l i t e r a t u r e review, I rea l i z e d that t h i s case study should have empirical, t h e o r e t i c a l , analytic, and interpretive dimensions, but that the representations of these dimensions i n a thesis would not have to follow a l i n e a r progression.-For me t h i s meant that i n order for t h i s case study to be useful, I wanted to combine and cycle through these dimensions so that the research would continue to be informed and rewritten by the processes of my c r i t i c a l practices of investigation consisting of narrative inquiry and ethnography. In other words, I looked to t e l l the stories as emergent research by continuously analyzing relationships of community engagement along side my own understandings for community-based art practices as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher. Analysis then was only one dimension where the " I " , as the c r i t i c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r was, part of an ongoing deliberation (McCutcheon, 1995) with other community members. In chapter two I describe selected concepts for the case study i n l i g h t of h i s t o r i c a l and th e o r e t i c a l dimensions of community-based art practices research. My intent as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher was to investigate and understand how a ceramic t i l e mural might serve as a means for the f i f t h and sixth graders, as well as myself, to fi n d meaningful and relevant connections with t h e i r school and larger community. In t h i s case the t i l e s were permanently i n s t a l l e d on a prominent wall i n the front foyer of a lower mainland Vancouver School. Students who participated, parents, along with some members of the community-at-large were provided opportunities to discuss the meanings they associated with these kinds of practices throughout the thesis. A l l of the names of students, parents, teachers, administrators, the community-at-large and the school have been changed to pseudonyms for e t h i c a l purposes. In addition, my purpose was to learn more about how community-based art practices could serve to broaden my own a r t i s t i c and educational understanding of working with people within art education. Chapter three discusses the development of these community-based art practices over the course of four months at the research s i t e . I documented the various processes through photographic images, student interviews and a selection of community participants. I also recorded drawings that represented the students' learning rooted i n the context of t h e i r own c u l t u r a l heritage and that connected t h e i r c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y with other participants in the project. I u t i l i z e d a life-centered issues approach to art education (Krug, 1996 ) , by l i n k i n g the history of ceramic t i l e and techniques with inquiry into the d i v e r s i t y of students' c u l t u r a l heritages. Students researched the word "welcome" through t h e i r family languages spoken at home. Each of the 125 students produced two t i l e s . One t i l e was based on the student's research into t h e i r own c u l t u r a l heritage and the other t i l e was a symbolic depiction of themselves based on current interests and t h e i r understanding of ceramic t i l e history. In Chapter four, I highlight participant interviews around art, t h e i r sense of s e l f , and t h e i r place i n the community. I include some of the students who participated, t h e i r parents, teachers, administrator, support s t a f f , and some members of the community-at-large. I have purposely presented these texts unedited as transcribed from the interviews i n order to maintain some sense of t h e i r own words and representation of s e l f and s o c i a l i d e n t i t y . While I recognize t h i s form of narrative may be cumbersome and awkward, i t seemed to be one way to r e f l e c t the p a r t i a l t e l l i n g of stories that t h i s process entailed. Through an analysis of these narratives, I hoped to better understand the value and relevancy that these experiences have had on the students' sense of community as well as how the project was thought of within the community-at-large. Through the interviewing process, other questions emerged, that I also explore i n t h i s chapter. Chapter five summarizes how examining community-based art practices through the writing of a thesis provided an opportunity to look at how the various aspects of my practices as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher intersect and inform each other. When I began th i s process, I r e a l i z e d that I needed to be able to renew my commitment to teaching and c u l t u r a l production i n order to continue to contribute i n these areas. Now after deliberating on the relevancy and meaning of community-based art practices and examining educational theories throughout th i s academic journey, I believe my knowledge has been enriched to a degree, so that my role as an artist-in-residence might i n s t i l community engagement i n others, through art education i n communities. CHAPTER TWO HOW THE STORY UNFOLDS This study emerged from my experience as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher working with 125 students in f i f t h and sixth grade over the course of 4 months i n a public school setting i n Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. This case study i s a fragmented, p a r t i a l story, primarily t o l d from my own perspective (Stuhr, Krug & Scott, 1995). I include interviews with students, parents, administrators, teachers, and some members of the community-at-large who chose to have t h e i r thoughts, ideas and opinions included. However, I must caution the over zealous reader from generalizing from t h i s study. S t i l l , I agree with Donmoyers (1990) that, "Case studies allow us to look at the world through the researcher's eyes and, i n the process, to see things we otherwise might not have seen" (p.195). U t i l i z i n g a case study approach, I examined how a collaborative art experience i n an elementary school setting affected the i d e n t i t y formation ( s e l f - i d e n t i t y , s o c i a l identity, and s o c i a l relations) of students, faculty, s t a f f and parent participants i n the community. My interpretations are made through narrative inquiry and ethnography research based on h i s t o r i c a l and th e o r e t i c a l dimensions of community-based art practices. My goal was to learn more about notions of relevancy and meaning making r e l a t i v e to community-based art practices within an elementary public school. While I recognize that my story offers only a snapshot of s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l interactions, I continue to be curious about how these processes can be understood and r e l a t i v e to my own a r t i s t i c and educational practices as well as how they connect with others working within art education. My Story I began teaching after completing art school i n the mid- 1980s. A frie n d introduced me to Montessori pedagogy by i n v i t i n g me to her classroom, or the children's house ('Casa Dei Bambini'). Montessori education, very simply put, i s based on three r e l a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s : the prepared environment, the c h i l d , and the teacher. It i s the role of the teacher through observation to support the c h i l d i n his/her e f f o r t s toward growth and development ( L i l l a r d , 1980; Montessori, 1966). The educational position that guides the teacher i s for the adult to follow the c h i l d . This philosophy i s based on human tendencies such as: r e p e t i t i o n , communication, moving towards independence, interdependence, the absorbent mind, development of w i l l , and the sensitive periods for growth. Montessori pedagogy-i s based on the b e l i e f that the 3-6 year old i s directed from within. These processes are fundamentally related to the construction of s e l f . As Maria Montessori (1965) said, "do not honour me but follow the c h i l d as his/her leader" (p.34). Preschool aged children remind one constantly, of t h e i r dynamic processes. They embody them and are constantly informed by them. Their development i s based on following an urge to make sense of l i f e by engaging i n relationships with themselves, others, and the environment. However, i t i s always, the emotional well being that i s given p r i o r i t y over everything else. So for twenty years t h i s was where my teaching practices developed. I taught part-time as a Montessori teacher, i n order to continue my art practices. I attended art school at the onset of postmodernist thought i n education. However, my education emphasized the a r t i s t as genius within a philosophy of the grand narrative. I accepted these ideas i n my own way and stayed within t h i s path. For example, I created an i s o l a t e d studio practice, developed a national exhibition career record, and sold work through a "reputable" ga l l e r y . For many years, t h i s s a t i s f i e d every urge I had to create artwork and my assumptions of what an a r t i s t should be. In some ways, I constructed my l i f e within a modernist system. I kept my art practices separate from my teaching practices; at least I thought I did. But recently my point of view has shi f t e d along my journey. I no longer hold to a modernist perspective. Currently, I consider teaching to also be an a r t i s t i c practice. It i s at best, unpredictable, engaging, active, and always l i v e d i n r e l a t i o n to s e l f and others. Therefore as a teacher, I am contingent upon any p a r t i c u l a r moment i n the classroom and i n relationship to others. As Madeline Grumet (1988) pointed out, "The I i s the location of a stream of p o s s i b i l i t i e s " (p.66). I have come to believe that the classroom i s a complex s i t e , emergent and constructed through relationships: teacher/student, student/student, teacher/curriculum, student/curriculum, teacher/parent, parent/parent and student/parent (Sumara, 1996). A few years ago, after 20 years within these settings, I found myself no longer able to accompany my 3-6 year old students on th e i r trek to s e l f awareness. I desired time to r e f l e c t on what t h i s journey means not only for them, but for myself. I needed time to deliberate on what i t means to be a teacher and an a r t i s t . This i s what brought me to academia and t h i s new journey to c r i t i c a l l y deliberate, revaluate, reinterpret, and revise what i t means for me to be an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher. Another intersection for me as an artist/teacher arose in 1997 with an opportunity to c o - f a c i l i t a t e a community-based art event sponsored by the c i t y of Vancouver. I was awarded an a r t i s t - i n - r e s i d e n c y competition with an art teacher i n the Vancouver area. We proposed working with a Vancouver community to encourage youth from the high school to use a recreational f a c i l i t y and to enhance t h i s community through c o l l e c t i v e endeavours. The end re s u l t was a ceramic t i l e mural created by 500 community members permanently i n s t a l l e d on the outside of a neighbourhood recreational f a c i l i t y . The pos i t i v e experiences that developed throughout these collaborative endeavours acted as a catalyst s h i f t i n g my perception of myself as an a r t i s t . I began to see p o s s i b i l i t i e s for weaving together my roles as educator and a r t i s t . As my a r t i s t i c practices became more s o c i a l , I questioned my previous i s o l a t e d studio practices. I enjoyed being c a l l e d into relationship with other people and drawing upon my s k i l l s as an educator. As a researcher I began to examine how meanings are constructed, negotiated and shared among people. For example, what constitutes and defines community? What does i t mean to engage i n community practices? Milner (1998) stated that, The word community i n i t s simplest sense implies people with something i n common. At the close of t h i s century, we use t h i s word to describe cyberpals, economic a l l i e s , even the global population. But no matter how broad or narrow the d e f i n i t i o n , community originates with people. ( p . D For me, Milner's d e f i n i t i o n focuses on the heart of the matter. Community i s about how people form, sustain and value relationships. When I moved to Vancouver i n 1990, my memories and experiences of a small p r a i r i e c i t y informed my expectations of what i t meant to 'belong' .to a community. I inherently knew that i n order to be at home, to situate and locate myself i n t h i s large urban centre, a sense of community was necessary. This sense of community, however, only developed after I became a parent. My community grew, in relationship to the growth of my c h i l d . It began with a mother's group, then preschool and now, public grade school. Memories of growing up i n a small town c a l l e d North Battleford Saskatchewan i n the 1960s, I was influenced by a sense of community based on experiences at the United Church bake sales, Christmas school plays, and extracurricular a c t i v i t i e s l i k e birthday parties and skating performances. The combination of my mother's p r a i r i e farm upbringing and" my father's immigrant Ukrainian c u l t u r a l practices.rooted i n food and song with large groups of people further developed my understanding and necessity for belonging and s o c i a l relationships. Perhaps thi s i s one reason why I value art making processes as s o c i a l endeavours. I agree with Suzi Gablik (1991) that art should c a l l us into r e l a t i o n with other people i n the world. How do people interpret the word community? Who does i t involve and how i s i t formed? The Oxford University Press Dictionary (1989) stated that there are a number of interpretations. But a l l d e f i n i t i o n s are problematic. I agree with Willinsky (1990) who said that terminology must be seen within the "history of the world's changing use and context, as opposed to an authoritative d e f i n i t i o n " (p.14). With that said here i s my working l i s t of ideas about community that I used for t h i s study. 1. L i f e i n association with others; society, the s o c i a l state. 2. A body of people organized into a p o l i t i c a l , municipal, or s o c i a l unity: 3. A body of men and women l i v i n g i n the same l o c a l i t y . 4. The community: the people of a country (or d i s t r i c t ) as a whole; the general body to which a l l a l i k e belong, the public. 5. a t t r i b . , as community care, feeling, l i f e , l i v i n g , s p i r i t , theatre; community centre (orig. U.S.), a building or an organization providing s o c i a l , recreational, and educational f a c i l i t i e s for a neighbourhood. It i s important to point out that people are quite l i k e l y to be members of a number of overlapping community groups at any given time. A sense of community i s emergent and i n process continuously. Community-based art practices distinguish i t s e l f by i t s d i r e c t connection with community engagement, rooted i n notions of li f e - c e n t e r e d issues and c u l t u r a l production. Community-based art practices do not follow a prescribed d e f i n i t i o n but rather emerge from processes of a community's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , analysis, and interpretation, of l o c a l issues within the broader spectrum of s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l , and h i s t o r i c a l contexts. Community-based art practices can be seen as ways of building or enacting community. In t h i s way they have everything to do with relationships and the negotiation of meanings and values among people. The public school community of the t i l e mural s i t e who participated i n t h i s study, included 125 students, parents of those students, teachers, administrators and other members-at-large who both attended and v i s i t e d the school. I n i t i a l l y , these people saw themselves as part of th i s community because they l i v e d i n the neighborhood. I to was a member of t h i s community as my daughter attended t h i s elementary community school. But a sense of community i s more than ones proximity to other people. Having l i v e d i n t h i s neighborhood for over fourteen years, I had witnessed and participated i n two a c t i v i s t projects. One action stopped a cement factory from locating i t s i n d u s t r i a l f a c i l i t y near r e s i d e n t i a l neighborhoods. The second action involved a co-f a c i l i t a t i o n of community-based art practices sponsored by a number of c i t y organizations. At the time, I was a board member at a l o c a l neighborhood house whose mandate was to provide programs that fostered personal, s o c i a l , and community development. These experiences contributed to my sense of belonging to the community. Characteristics of Community-Based Art Practices H i s t o r i c a l l y , some of the chief c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that have shaped research about community-based art practices have been rooted i n notions around voice, i d e n t i t y , empowerment, a c c e s s i b i l i t y , and s o c i a l change (Alibhai, 2001; Jacob, 1996; Gablik, 1991; Lippard, 1997). I have expanded on how these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s can be interwoven to support each other within t h i s study. My intention was to investigate l o c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of community-based art practices but to also situate them within the larger contexts of educational l i t e r a t u r e and research. I w i l l refer to these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s as access points of community based-art practices. Voice In my review of l i t e r a t u r e I found that some a r t i s t s are c u l t u r a l workers who collaborate with s p e c i f i c community groups (Alibhai, 2001; Jacob, 1996; Gablik, 1991; Lippard, 199'7). Their commitment to other community members (ideas, inquiry, and interpretations) i s c r i t i c a l i n order to create a meaningful exchange with potential posi t i v e affects for the community-at-large. Is i t possible for a community of voices to act as a bridge, representing something that was otherwise i n v i s i b l e or marginalized (e.g., youth, single parents) and that concerns a s p e c i f i c s o c i a l issue (H.I.V., c u l t u r a l i s o l a t i o n , homelessness)? How can community-based art practices encourage, confirm, represent, and support conversations across the diverse voices of community? Many community members continually define, r e v i t a l i z e , and sustain themselves as participants through c o l l e c t i v e and democratic a c t i v i t i e s . This form of practice i s ni c e l y described by b e l l hooks (1994) who wrote: "As a classroom community, our capacity to generate excitement i s deeply affected by our interest i n one another, i n hearing one another's voices, i n recognizing one another's presence" (p.68). It was important that voices within the community had opportunities to inform t h i s research. Identity During t h i s study, I observed and interpreted how inquiry into ones own c u l t u r a l heritage can a f f e c t i n d i v i d u a l and community i d e n t i t y formation. I was curious to learn about how the sharing of each others s o c i a l c u l t u r a l experiences, while working on a public collaborative art piece, would encourage or discourage t h e i r respect for d i v e r s i t y i n everyday l i f e . My personal connection to t h i s research was based on a p r i n c i p l e of s t a r t i n g with the t e l l i n g of one's own story and weaving i t into the texture of the collaborative f a b r i c . I embraced "l i f e - c e n t e r e d issues" (Krug,1996,2002) involving the students i n relevant and emergent p a r t i c i p a t i o n . A l i f e - c e n t e r e d issues approach can encourage people to look c r i t i c a l l y at ones own immediate community and beyond. In other words, Life-centered approaches encourage inquiry as a means for understanding ideas as part of l i f e - l o n g learning. Life-centered issues encompass a broad range of subjects and r e f l e c t interpretations of people's s o c i a l interests and differences. (Krug, 2002, p.183) In t h i s study I considered how the representation of one's voice and i d e n t i t y held a place within the school community. How did t h i s collaborative art piece transform the environment of the front lobby through the contributions of the students' stories? How might t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e experience continue through stories years afterwards because of the murals permanent status? As Neperud (1995) stated, "An environment carries traces from e a r l i e r periods r e l a t i n g to how people l i v e d and valued t h e i r communities; such information provides a perspective for valuing one's own surroundings" (p.244). Empowerment Empowerment i n t h i s case study refers to the development'of the students' experiences, which drew upon th e i r own c u l t u r a l heritages. They shared t h e i r experiences within c o l l e c t i v e processes and then r e f l e c t e d on t h e i r practices. The l i t e r a t u r e supports that empowerment i s rooted i n notions around the va l i d a t i o n of indiv i d u a l s ' contributions, voice, and agency. Adams and Goldberg (2001) stated that, Live, active s o c i a l experiences strengthen individuals' a b i l i t y to par t i c i p a t e i n democratic discourse and community l i f e , whereas an excess of passive i s o l a t e d experiences, disempowers. Sel f -determination i s an essential requirement of the dignity and s o c i a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a l l communities. Community c u l t u r a l development work helps create conditions i n which the greatest number i s able to discover t h e i r potentials and use t h e i r resources to advance these aims. (p. 62) Through t h i s research I wanted to know more about how community-based art practices might offe r a generative means for a diverse range of voices to converge i n dialogue from community members. The project space selected at the elementary school was located i n the main lobby, where students passed by d a i l y on t h e i r way to various school a c t i v i t i e s . V i s i t o r s entering the school were greeted by message boards, signs, and other v i s u a l information on display i n t h i s location. The mural's placement i n the lobby could create a sort of legacy of the students' voices permanently on view i n a prominent space i n t h e i r school. I began to think of the mural as an e g a l i t a r i a n space for creating community engagement within the school. Those members who might have otherwise been silenced or disenfranchised, (perhaps because English i s , for many, a second language) could be provided a means for t h e i r thoughts to speak. Eventually the goal emerged for creating the ceramic t i l e mural to "enact/establish community through the p l u r a l i t y of perspectives" ( A l i - A l i b h a i , 2001, p.90). In i t s own way t h i s potential generative process needed a space for locating the polyvocal representation of voices. Thus, the success of these community-based art practices would be d i r e c t l y related to the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a l l within the community and t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e engagement (Jacob, 1996). I wanted to know what i t means to engage people i n community-based art practices. Could t h i s provide a means to reclaim the value of the arts as a powerful mediator between the participants and t h e i r sense of community? What happens i f the a r t i s t plays a secondary role, acting as a f a c i l i t a t o r or guide (Gablik, 1991; Brenson, 1995)? As a parent I also wanted to know how community-based art practices can develop out of contextual circumstances with some sort of relevancy for parents and other community members. I considered t h i s research as a way to learn more about how community-based art practices can shape and be shaped by p a r t i c u l a r conditions at the time of the a c t i v i t i e s . Perhaps, community-based art practices do not have to follow any prescribed model but rather support what Rogoff (2003) described as necessary for the human condition, ". . .models which allow further insight and allow resonance with experience" (personal communication, October 25, 2003). Accessibility A c c e s s i b i l i t y i s an important c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of community-based art practices. A l l community members who participated informed and shaped the collaborative experiences i n varying degrees. Community-based art practices are always rooted i n l o c a l relationships of the participants i n one way or another. In t h i s case the students inquired into t h e i r own family c u l t u r a l heritage. As discussed, what they had found was often unpredictable, emergent and r i c h i n d i v e r s i t y . I was curious to gain an understanding into, how direc t a c c e s s i b i l i t y acts as an access point for participants to r e v i s i t t h e i r experiences, and for other community members to interpret the art work. How could t h i s community space become s i g n i f i c a n t i n a broader sense? How did t h i s project influence people outside the school, " a f f e c t i n g the patterns and modes of inter a c t i o n . . . s p i l l i n g beyond the group of persons immediately involved" (Davis & Sumara, 1997, p.304). Research about a c c e s s i b i l i t y (Alibhai, 2001; Jacob, 1996, Gablik, 1991) suggested that i t can open p o s s i b i l i t i e s for members to create relationships, share stories, and connect i n ways that people might not do, otherwise. In the case of an artefact being created out of community-based art practices t h i s meant the mural had to be located i n a place that the entire community would be able to v i s i t . A c c e s s i b i l i t y can sometimes result i n community relationships being created that had not previously existed or i t might contribute to already exi s t i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . How can community-based art practices place emphasis on creating community engagement that w i l l develop a f e r t i l e ground for events, workshops, education, and conversations? Social Change Through the l i t e r a t u r e I learned that the heterogeneous representation of ones s o c i a l differences can be examined through student inquiry, and the sharing of stories (Alibhai, 2001; Gablik, 1991; hooks, 1994; Adams and Goldbard, 2001; Chilvers, 2003; Lippard, 1997). I became curious to know, how these experiences might strengthen feelings of "belonging", r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and commitment among community members. Ultimately, I wanted to know more about how s o c i a l change might move people towards acceptance of s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l differences by d i s c r e d i t i n g stereotypes and rethinking notions of assimilation and homogeneity. In other words, can s o c i a l change bring a recognition and acceptance for the multitude of heterogeneous stories that reside within our communities? Adams and Goldbard (2001) suggested that "By t e l l i n g our stories, we challenge stereotypes" (p.24). They asserted that within complex s i t e s of community, a r t i s t s as c u l t u r a l workers can encourage engagement for change and s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . H i s t o r i c a l l y , community-based art practices have a strong l i n k with projects that support s o c i a l change (e.g. Aides Memorial Q u i l t ) . Chilvers (2003) wrote that, "Community-based art promotes change from the bottom up, taking i t s lead from the people who are d i r e c t l y concerned with the issues at the grassroots" (p.35). Lucy Lippard (1997) commented that, Community a r t i s t s help the l o c a l stories emerge, most often within school or neighbourhood mural projects. They see themselves as f a c i l i t a t o r s or animators rather than as interpreters or creators of expressions and impressions. Community art draws upon c u l t u r a l resources by encouraging people to exchange accounts of t h e i r own l i v e d experiences and h i s t o r i e s , (p. 267) Community-based art practices have the poten t i a l to l i n k c u l t u r a l production with l i f e experiences rooted i n l o c a l notions of i d e n t i t y formation. It can foster belonging to community i n various ways. Community-based art practices, however, f a l l under the guise of numerous other names: new genre public art; art i n the public interest; art for change; c o l l e c t i v e art making; c u l t u r a l democracy; community c u l t u r a l development; c i v i l dialogue and a c t i v i s t or soc i a l - a c t i o n art, (Lippard, 1997; Gablik, 1991; Jacob, 1996). These d i f f e r e n t terms may r e f l e c t the sp e c i f i c s of the community-based project, the country of ori g i n , or who f a c i l i t a t e d the practices (e.g., Work developed out of a community centre or a s o c i a l service agency). C o n c l u s i o n Community-base art practices are born out of s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l contexts and serve many d i f f e r e n t roles for people (Alibhai, 2001; Adams & Goldberg, 2001; Lippard, 1997; Laurence, 2001). Therefore these collaborative processes can hold d i f f e r e n t meanings and values for everyone involved. This case study does not attempt to represent a single voice for a l l participants, but rather I attempt to make some sense of the following questions: How can community engagement p o s i t i v e l y a f f e c t the d a i l y l i f e of a s p e c i f i c community? How can or do these experiences hold meaning and value for the participants i n t h e i r community? How can community-based art practices strengthen the schools connection with the community? What was the impact of these community-based art practices on the broader school community? In past experiences I have learned that these experiences had an important aff e c t on myself as an a r t i s t and my roles as a teacher, a r t i s t , parent and researcher. The answer to thi s autobiographical statement i s not e x p l i c i t l y addressed i n t h i s study but rather i s generally explored throughout the thesis. So, why i s i t so important now that I have become 'interested i n the search for an answer to these and other questions? CHAPTER THREE A CASE STUDY The p o l i t i c a l climate i n Vancouver deeply affected the functioning of the public schools i n 2 0 0 0 . Along with the change of government came deep economic cuts to public education including the loss of jobs, an increased student-teacher r a t i o , and the withdrawal of special needs assistance and support s t a f f . In addition, a job action from the Teachers' Union handicapped the normal functioning of public schools for nearly the entire school year. It became a d a i l y event when parents advocated r e s i s t i n g the cuts through meetings with p r i n c i p a l s , school board members, and l e t t e r writing campaigns to 'save our schools.' Morale was low. It was r e a l l y as an act of resistance to the negative p o l i t i c s of the time, that I approached the p r i n c i p a l of a community elementary school with a proposal to f a c i l i t a t e a ceramic t i l e mural. I hoped to engage students i n looking at t h e i r d i v e r s i t y and values as a community school. I f e l t t h i s project could possibly s h i f t the focus of discussion i n the school, of f e r i n g a positive, c o l l e c t i v e experience with a v i s i o n of celebrating and representing the schools' sense of community. In researching and writing about community-based art practices I began to examine ideas of community engagement. Community engagement encompasses educational opportunities for meaningful and relevant experiences through shared collaborative inquiry about lif e - c e n t e r e d issues. I began to think about the school foyer, metaphorically, as a celebratory space where the ceramic t i l e mural could be a source for i n s p i r i n g community engagement. Felkins (2002) described t h i s notion as A conference table, a town h a l l , a kitchen table, a porch, a p i c n i c table, an a l t a r or a shady tree -these are some of the spaces where people come together to t e l l a story, acknowledge membership, celebrate accomplishments, share joy & laughter - and reaffirm c o l l e c t i v e value, (p.4) The front foyer of thi s school was a vacuous space, i n dire need of b e a u t i f i c a t i o n . A ceramic t i l e mural created by the student body at the very least, would v i s u a l l y enhance a prominent wall i n the front foyer. I believed that the project was well suited for an ArtSmarts grant which had a looming deadline. The p r i n c i p a l responded with enthusiasm, o f f e r i n g both conceptual and f i n a n c i a l support. A theme based on the word WELCOME generated the most interest from the teachers and p r i n c i p a l , given the m u l t i c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i t y of families that attend t h i s school. The teachers proposed that f i f t h grade and sixth grade students could conduct inquiry about multiculturalism which supported the required learning outcomes for the s o c i a l studies Integrated Resource Packages (I.R.P.). The content standards for the p r o v i n c i a l education system of B r i t i s h Columbia include an investigation of society and culture. In grade f i v e , the students interpret information about h i s t o r i c a l and contemporary Canada. They learn about a wide variety of community groups within Canada and study why immigrants have h i s t o r i c a l l y come to Canada, the challenges they face, and t h e i r contributions. They also look at the ways in which people preserve and discuss culture. In grade six students studied broader concepts of world socie t i e s i d e n t i f y i n g and describing peoples d a i l y l i f e s t y l e s , work, and family structures i n s p e c i f i c countries. They look at how a society r e f l e c t s t h e i r c u l t u r a l contexts i n order to recognize the contributions of a variety of people i n Canada and the world. The t i l e mural project was based on the word WELCOME, and designed to integrate a range of languages and c u l t u r a l representations. Inspired by the book, Contemporary Art and M u l t i c u l t u r a l Education, s p e c i f i c a l l y the section on "American Identity", I decided to conduct interviews with the aim of s e n s i t i z i n g students to issues of difference and cu l t u r a l i d e n t i t y to enhance t h e i r knowledge of each other. Kocur (1996) wrote, "Exploring e t h n i c i t y i s not about studying something "other" than oneself, but about studying our p a r t i c u l a r and c o l l e c t i v e complex c u l t u r a l a f f i l i a t i o n s " (p. 133). While I was not studying e t h n i c i t y e x p l i c i t l y , I was interested i n how a sense of peoplehood (ethnicity) (Rose 1996) could inspire students to learn more about themselves, each other and th e i r place i n the community. As the case study proceeded, students were partnered with each other and asked the following questions: (1) What i s your family's country of origin? (2) How many languages are spoken i n your home? (3) Which languages do you speak? and, (4) How does your family celebrate s i g n i f i c a n t events? We recorded the information on the classroom chalk board and looked for common ground and int e r e s t i n g differences about each other. L i v e l y discussions often emerged amongst the students when determining which language they choose to say WELCOME. Figure (1) Through our conversations, we i d e n t i f i e d duplications in family languages and expanded our c o l l e c t i v e e f f o r t s to include the d i v e r s i t y of those represented throughout the school. On one occasion a grade 6 student, Jacob, wanted to stay true to his English roots and was having a d i f f i c u l t time choosing a greeting other than WELCOME. Pauline, another student suggested SALUTATIONS. Soon conversation developed around the word welcome and alternative ways of looking at i t as a greeting. We speculated on how do we greet our friends in the morning. Our teacher? A baby? How does our tone, intonation change? In other parts of the world, a greeting comes in the form of a blessing: "Peace be with you' (Arabic), "Be healthy" (Greek), "Good things to you" (Armenian). Parents also helped out. For example, when an e a r l i e r student inquiry had not yielded any results, her father sent a fax to the school to confirm the word for welcome in Gujarti, the father's native language. • S Figure ( 2 ) The lovely Gujarti greeting "Padharo", means, "Bless us with your v i s i t . " \ Please forward to Sarah Lalii in Division 9 as she  needs this info for a project Sarah: The word for welcome inGujarati is "Padharo". It  really means 'Bless us with your visit'. I had it  written in Guiarati fattached! - Have a nice day Figure (3) Upon a r r i v i n g over the twelve week residency I was often greeted with "Hi Ya!" and "Yo!" As Suzi Gablik (1991) stated, "Art that r e a l i z e s i t s purpose through relationship, that collaborates consciously with the audience and i s concerned with how we connect with others -can actually create a sense of community" (p.158). Through similar experiences, I have come to understand the p r a c t i c a l i t y and aesthetic decisions that are helpful when made before beginning community-based art practices. I provided a conceptual overview for t h i s piece early on i n our collaboration. The design c r i t e r i a was based oil a checkerboard pattern, which drew from h i s t o r i c a l cross-c u l t u r a l ceramic t i l e research. Adams and Goldbard (2001) suggested that, The product/process question i s not e n t i r e l y settled, however. Occasionally, one hears i t framed as community versus quality. The community/quality dichotomy i n v i t e s posturing and pola r i z a t i o n , supported by a thin reed of substance that almost topples under the weight of rhetoric i t i s made to carry. In truth, we see i t as a red herring. No one sets out to make bad art. Using whatever means are accessible, most community a r t i s t s (like most other a r t i s t s ) aim to make the products of t h e i r process-oriented work as good as they can be, judged by the c r i t e r i a appropriate to the intention, (p.22) The tension between product and process was also present i n my early development as an a r t i s t . Throughout th i s case study, I found there were a number of emerging questions. How did my st a r t i n g with a conceptual overview aff e c t the communities' ownership of shared v i s i o n for the mural project? What i s needed to create an art project that i s based on a community vision? In addition, I wanted to know i f and why these experiences held value for the community? How did the experiences strengthen the community connections? I continued to search art education research for defining myself as an a r t i s t , parent, teacher and researcher i n order to gain insight on these and other questions. The f i n a l ceramic t i l e s were eventually i n s t a l l e d i n the school's foyer. Each student contributed two t i l e s : a text t i l e , based on the word welcome and the other, a symbolic v i s u a l representation of themselves rooted i n t h e i r family heritage and d a i l y l i v e s . Each student asked: What do I love to do? What i s meaningful to me? How can t h i s be represented? How can I learn from special events with family? And, with friends? As the students conducted inquiry about themselves, I also learned more about my own community-based art practices. As an a r t i s t , I have been deeply interested i n community-based art practices for a long time. I continue to s t r i v e to be an active agent of change, and I am hopeful that, young people can also learn what i t means to be an a r t i s t by sharing experiences, engaging i n e g a l i t a r i a n conversations and ultimately, recognizing t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e accomplishments as a community. F e l l s (2002) pointed out, "The product i s an artefact while the relationship with others i s a reciprocal exchange" (L. F e l l s , personal comment, March 25, 2002). Although the t i l e mural project was rooted i n a r t i s t i c practices, the f i n a l piece had the potential to act as a memory, a reminder, a community space for creating relationships with others. As t h e i r teacher, I introduced the students, to the history of ceramic t i l e s through s l i d e s from Europe, Turkey, and Mexico. We discussed ideas about design such as, d i v i s i o n of space, patterning, and colour. These aspects of design informed t h e i r image making. I also wanted the students to know how I arrived at my own t i l e ' s v i s u a l representation u t i l i z i n g my Ukrainian heritage. I drew from cr o s s - s t i t c h i n g on a blouse my grandmother had made and my love of gardening and nature. These images also provided a h i s t o r i c a l context for us to analyze how ceramic t i l e making has a long and v i s u a l l y r i c h history. I introduced them to majolica glaze through work created i n It a l y during the Renaissance. This connection was important because we were u t i l i z i n g the same glaze recipe from that era. F i g u r e (4) Many of the s t u d e n t ' s s t o r i e s about the t i l e t e x t and images were i n c r e d i b l y m e a n i n g f u l . As the r e s e a r c h e r , I hoped t o observe and l i s t e n as c a r e f u l l y as p o s s i b l e w h i l e I p a r t i c i p a t e d as t h e v i s i t i n g a r t i s t . For example, Ray, a F i r s t N a t i o n s s t u d e n t , showed h i s c l a s s m a t e ' s t h r e e c a r v i n g s made by h i s g o d f a t h e r t o c e l e b r a t e h i s b i r t h d a y s . When showing t h e Moon Mask/Sun Mask c a r v i n g , Ray t o l d us, " I l i k e t h i s one 'cause i t makes me f e e l good. When I don't f e e l good, I go l o o k a t i t and i t makes me f e e l b e t t e r . " Ray i n c o r p o r a t e d the Coyote and moon images on h i s t i l e . He s a i d , "The Coyote i n C h i l c o l t i n i s 'Cak-awan' which i s my name i n my language". Figure (5) The students worked out th e i r ideas through preliminary sketches before they painted them d i r e c t l y onto the t i l e with glazes. Manila paper and tempera paint were used to create a facsimile of ceramic stain for the glazed surface. During t h i s painting process, students conversed and shared stories regarding the development of th e i r images. For example, i n the t i l e depicted below in Figure (6) the student said, "The sun means i t ' s r i s i n g on the Philippines and I l i k e to play sports, soccer, and hockey and basketball." Later she added that the f r u i t s , cherries represent her name. Figure (6) Figure (7) In the above d e t a i l of a sketch the student reflected, "I did a dream catcher, there's a dream catcher i n my bedroom 'cause my brother gets bad dreams." Figure (8) In the t i l e d e t a i l above the student said, "It's my name-if I go back to my reserve they c a l l me 'Mishamagun', i t means flower by the sea." Another student said, "R.D.S. means red, dragon skate supply. My fri e n d i s a skateboarder and sponsored by them. It's a l o c a l Vancouver skateboard maker." Figure (9) In the images above students related stories about what was important i n th e i r every day l i f e . Figure (1CT Students enjoyed describing t h e i r t i l e s i n d e t a i l . For example, the student pictured i n Figure(10) said, "The reason I put the X i s because I own a X-Box (a thing you play video games on). The piano 'cause I play the piano, I take piano lessons and I made about 5 songs myself. The ivy along the side cause I r e a l l y l i k e nature and the yellow blue blotches, sun, s k u l l , f i r e b a l l , tree, water for a card game I play." Figure (11) In Figure (11) the student depicted "The g r i z z l y bear and a paddle." This student was interested i n representing images from his F i r s t Nations c u l t u r a l background to say more about himself. Another student said, "I l i k e to do abstract art and I l i k e to draw so I kinda just did some lin e s and I carved some clover because that represents Ireland where my family i s from." Figure (12) Figure (13) The students' work often u t i l i z e d common objects with unique embellishments. For example, "There are 5 stars i n the Chinese Flag. The f l a g has 4 small ones and 1 big one and that's what I did. The writing i s my l a s t name but i t also represents the Sung Dynasty." Figure (14) This student said, "I selected Grape vines 'cause my dad makes wine. We have a grape vine i n our back yard. The cross 'cause I'm Catholic, the I t a l i a n f l a g 'cause I'm I t a l i a n . " Figure (15) Through working with the students I often journaled about t h e i r r e f l e c t i o n s on the images they selected. For example the student who created the t i l e depicted i n (Figure 15) t o l d me that, "the red and yellow i s for the f l a g of China. This i s the great wall of China with trees and mountains behind i t . These are firecrackers and thi s i s my l a s t name. I chose the color blue to write my l a s t name because blue i s my favorite color." Figure (16) Some student explanations were quite simple, such as, "I just drew the Canadian and German f l a g , 'cause Germany i s where my mom's from and I was born i n Canada." For a short time during this project a student from Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design observed the process. She recorded the following observation, "Danielle i s using the paint i n a very experimental, i n t u i t i v e and painterly way. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g that he seems a b i t shy but i s able to be very expressive with the paint. The students seem to r e a l l y enjoy giving meaning to every aspect of t h e i r image right down to colour choice. For example, Joanne explained how the blue i n her border stands for peace and red i s war so i t always goes under blue." Figure (17) Figure (18) The c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i t y i n th i s school was ref l e c t e d i n the number of home languages spoken and the number of dif f e r e n t countries where the children were born. There were 25 di f f e r e n t languages represented i n the homes of the 650 students who attend t h i s school and 31 di f f e r e n t countries of b i r t h representing the d i v e r s i t y of c u l t u r a l backgrounds. During t h i s case study, I worked with 125 s t u d e n t s t o g e n e r a t e t h e WELCOME t i l e s . Working from p r e -p l a n n e d s k e t c h e s each o f t h e f o u r c l a s s e s d e v e l o p e d t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s i n a s e p a r a t e c l a s s r o o m and a t a s e p a r a t e t i m e . Yet a l l of them were aware t h a t t h e y were c o n t r i b u t i n g t o a c o l l a b o r a t i v e p r o j e c t t h a t would be permanently i n s t a l l e d i n t h e f r o n t f o y e r o f the s c h o o l . F i g u r e (19) P a u l i n e Thompson, the t e a c h e r o f the f i r s t group of s t u d e n t s I worked w i t h , i s a w e l l - s e a s o n e d e d u c a t o r i n her 2 9 t h year o f t e a c h i n g a t t h i s s c h o o l . A f t e r a few s e s s i o n s i n her c l a s s r o o m , she r e f e r r e d t o our c o l l a b o r a t i o n u s i n g a Chinese p r o v e r b . D e s c r i b i n g her e x p e r i e n c e s , "Tongxin X i e l i " means, "to work together with one heart" and "Hezhong C o n j i i , i s to help each other achieve harmony." Pauline supported the project by being extremely organized and communicative. She helped set-up tables, ready paint and paper and a l l with gracious enthusiasm. Throughout the workshops, she liste n e d to what I described and referred to fam i l i a r a c t i v i t i e s that the students engaged i n to support t h e i r understanding of design concepts. Pauline a c t i v e l y assisted and promoted the students' inquiry and involvement in how they chose to represent themselves through t h e i r language. She saved the sketches the students produced of th e i r t i l e s and included them i n t h e i r art p o r t f o l i o s . Upon completion of the project i n Kim Brown's class, I f a c i l i t a t e d a discussion with students about t h e i r experiences with constructing the t i l e s and the community art piece i n general. L i t t l e discussion developed. Kim suggested assigning a project where each student wrote me a l e t t e r to describe the piece i n a r e f l e c t i v e manner. Her knowledge of the students was helpful i n recognizing that they needed additional time to think about what they wanted to t e l l me. In each of the l e t t e r s the students included a sketch of t h e i r t i l e while the statements r e f l e c t e d on th e i r experiences. The meaningfulness of t h i s project was r e a l i z e d through the consistent quality of care and attention demonstrated by the students through t h e i r writing and drawing. For example, th i s student submitted the following l e t t e r . - t ),)<£ fche t i / e yDfb^ect. J t U 3 s fïalV^  ^Mî» and fcVvwVv j<*v ftr t ^ h ' r ^ US rvsw t o pallet -tMes. X tV \ou^t it â c^ reat tv\e-b c&nvs^ -^et»\ &vfc^ctr\t CfcuMirtC5,ï a\5c \*àt-v\ta UaW o i ^ i ^>evf\t »M«r à ^airvfceÀ t u e tW? ^a-re KOttTrt. Lo^ .e otrb. I fc^tea \earned tfnat \)O«L CAM çal***"* you. W c / har*k ijon -fur: 4£Ach£nQ m&- how h ^ r<a{ 0t6 had da J- Hycxkdhf ri wouU t/2t Cn fer O.bouA ccrcjiMC +îfé$ in ihe paSi wh&re, 4hcM CirfL_ <~*6£a / tai*/ w tor ihiM Ore*, ^txrd _L othp lejDtrr&d who* œ d and b\\j^ oy\c[ // thrift, ikrvfi )h&t 7 i-'fa II a wr&di Zxpcr fov rne, t'hùnJKsl Figure (21) This other student provided t h i s thoughtful response. "To t c a c b u s wore- a b o u i c w c u H a r ^ T X . Y\Vsec\ o m ^ v r ^ c^nrJ eioVorra, on our 4 ~ l ^ , l L v o c o ^ d i no> "VJ pô\\rr\ a (Htltsuw a n d >cîvec b u \ ~L woi5 ^oppy SMT-TWJUSV 4ke, - fee .pee /1 -ÇàcgaV houj feo say h d l c M f l £-fe.e, 50 31 pV,ov\ed t ^ y •novr^ and she -folcVne. "totftsi, K W S welcome F i g u r e (22) These l e t t e r s were not only l e a r n i n g experiences f o r the students as they found out more about themselves, but a l s o f o r myself as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent and researcher. Figure (23) Douglas was a student i n teacher Susan Brooks' c l a s s . I n o t i c e d him immediately, because he v e r b a l l y l e t s people know exactly what he thinks about something. When I introduced the project his response was "This sucks!" As we progressed through the workshop, he regularly l e t his classmates know his symbol for his c u l t u r a l heritage was beer because his family originated from Germany. I was surprised at how his interpretation changed the day we actually glazed the t i l e s . He divided the space f i r s t with a c u r v i l i n e a r border then an oval shape i n the middle. The brushwork was delicate and painstakingly slow. He announced that his grandma loved to garden so he decided to create an homage to her. The oval shape was transformed into a v i n e - l i k e image with f l o r a l representations, and he completed the t i l e with flags of Canada and Germany to further s i g n i f y his c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y . The change of attitude stunned both his classroom teacher and myself. Later, I attributed much of Douglas's overt actions as "a need to have an e f f e c t " on his situ a t i o n . For example, Neperud (1995) suggested that, People plant gardens, landscape t h e i r l i v i n g spaces, and engage i n other a c t i v i t i e s i n order to have an effect on t h e i r surroundings. In fact, destructive and constructive behaviours represent d i f f e r e n t points of a continuum from asocia l to s o c i a l behaviour rather than mutually exclusive categories. G r a f f i t i and murals created to celebrate ethnic i d e n t i t y and history represent d i f f e r i n g points on a continuum of the need to have an ef f e c t . Recently, Dissanayake(1998) art h i s t o r i a n and ethnologist, has pointed to thi s need to have an effect and to make things special, (p. 241) The idea that t h i s project became a permanently i n s t a l l e d piece located i n a prominent viewing area of the school was a s i g n i f i c a n t reference point of interest for many of the students. They wondered where t h e i r t i l e would be located on the wall. They wanted to know the exact date of the i n s t a l l a t i o n . Excitement and anti c i p a t i o n b u i l t throughout the process from start to f i n i s h . The i n s t a l l a t i o n of the t i l e s began during the l a s t days of the school year. The timing coincided with the grade 7 graduation and numerous end of school year events. There was a pronounced r i c h f e e l i n g of celebration, f e s t i v i t y , and commemoration throughout the school marking the accomplishments and memories generated over the year. The i n s t a l l a t i o n added yet another layer of excitement to the mix. The project was being i n s t a l l e d during the graduation tea and ceremony and so many parents and family members were able to see the i n s t a l l a t i o n . I shared the description of the project numerous times over that day to many interested community members. While the beginning s i t e of t h i s project was o r i g i n a l l y the classroom, i t now included the front foyer, a very public space i n the school. But over time, community involvement and the projects impact continued to broaden and grow. Burnaford (2001) put forth that, When the artwork i s made public, i t starts to assume a l i f e separate from you, and i t has the opportunity to start working on you. You enter into a dialogue with your work once i t goes public; i t gives the work an opportunity to enter into a dialogue with your public, (p.103) Figure (24) A l l along I had planned to include the students in the placement of t i l e s and aesthetic decisions for the i n s t a l l a t i o n . As i t turned out several students assisted with these tasks primarily at recess and lunchtime. There were periods when there was a large group of students m i l l i n g around the project space. Shortly after beginning the i n s t a l l a t i o n , t i l e s needed to be cut i n order to f i t the designated space. This d i f f i c u l t decision of deciding whose t i l e to cut caused me angst. Then the p r i n c i p a l suggested that I "take i t to the students". I v i s i t e d each classroom and informed the students of how the mural i n s t a l l a t i o n necessitated cutting some of the t i l e s . They responded with anxiety around whose t i l e s would be selected to be cut. Throughout the two days of i n s t a l l i n g these t i l e s , students checked i n to see the location of t h e i r t i l e s . One student, who had o r i g i n a l l y indicated d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the result of her t i l e volunteered to have hers cut after we assessed her image together. I suggested that cutting her t i l e might offe r a solution to her d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with her work. The cutting and placement of both the t i l e pieces reinvented her work and i n the end she was more s a t i s f i e d with her contribution. The students assisted with the t i l e placement and decision-making process. We deliberated together to determine which t i l e looked best beside another and why. While composing the t i l e s they were asked to consider mixing the various languages and creating a balance of colour and images i n order to af f e c t the o v e r a l l space. Community building was always a c t i v e l y sought, l i k e a work i n progress. L i t t l e did I r e a l i z e as I entered into these community-based art practices that they would develop and transform into such meaningful experiences. I soon learned that having the opportunity to observe the students inquiry and methods of representation was what I valued most as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent and researcher. Afterwards, when I enter the school I was greeted with warm welcomes. A rea l relationship had developed. A l i b h a i (2001) said "Community art i s a way of building-or enacting-community. Community i s not a s t a t i c entity, something that exists out-there, but' i s manifested through an action: i t i s practiced" (p.100). The actions of t h i s t i l e project were rooted i n practices of community building and belonging. Students inquired into t h e i r family heritage and shared these experiences with the c o l l e c t i v e group. The success of t h e i r community-based art practices was dependent upon a l l of them, the students, parents, teachers, community-at-large and myself contributing and working together. And while t h i s became increasingly obvious to me as a researcher, I s t i l l wanted to know whether other people involved i n t h i s project recognized these relationships as valuable and meaningful educational experiences. Figure (26) Although the i n s t a l l a t i o n completed the t i l e mural project, i n some ways the space continued to b u i l d community. I observed how the utter delight of students, teachers, parents, and administrators had a rip p l e e f f e c t on the large public community. But how have these experiences affected the students, teachers and parents who participated i n t h i s project at the school? How might the mural achieve what Burnaford (2001) c a l l e d a way to bring the school community together? Arts integration products are an ideal way to bring a school community together. One grade l e v e l or class has access to another's work. They serve as audiences for each other, and they also serve as analysts and c r i t i c s . They can provide valuable feedback to the student a r t i s t s while learning to a r t i c u l a t e what they see and hear as audience members, (p.103) I continued to conduct t h i s case study after my i n i t i a l a r t i s t - i n - r e s i d e n c y . Two of the grade f i v e classrooms proceeded with t h e i r inquiry into family h i s t o r i e s through an independent study. Their inquiry study tasks were to research the ethnic heritages or "sense of peoplehood" of one side of t h e i r family i n greater depth, similar to how they chose the language they used to write WELCOME. This inquiry was i n two parts, a poster with s p e c i f i c c r i t e r i a about t h e i r family history and an oral presentation. I observed t h e i r presentations. One of the students t o l d us of her upbringing on a reserve. She presented various objects r e l a t i n g to her c u l t u r a l background that held meaning for her. She also discussed the story of her brother's drowning. Upon completion, her teacher shared with me the d i f f i c u l t y that t h i s g i r l normally has had i n speaking i n front of the group. "I am so happy she made i t , she did i t " , said the teacher. Figure (27) Figure (28) The poster c r i t e r i a included: a world map showing where the family originated, a family tree, the f l a g of the country, an interview with t h e i r parent and/or grandparents, i l l u s t r a t i o n s of family customs, food, and photographs that in some way documents the family heritage. My Famih Iliston My family's history has three different cultures, on ray dad's side the people come from Italy. My Great Grandma - Bees Nonna immigrated here to Trail, BC in 1925. My Grandfather (Nonno) grew up in Trail and moved to Vancouver to go to school at UBC in 1955 My Granny also grew up in Trail and moved to Vancouver in 1955 Granny's ancestors came from Scotland On my Mom's side of our family, there are two groups of people that had a role in her life My mom is Ciee and was born in Regina, Saskatchewan She was adopted in 1971 by a woman named Sharon Haggerty 1 call her Grams Grams's ancestors from long ago came from Ii eland. My Great Grandparents lived in a small Saskatchewan town Called Belle Plain. They had a farm and grew wheat The CPR railway line ran through the property about 80 m from the backdoor of the house My mom moved to Vancouver in 1978 with Grams and My Auntie Bea 1 feel lucky as I am connected to three different cultures, ideas and ways at looking ai and Jiving life Figure (29) For example, one of the students wrote in the i r f i n a l statement "I f e e l lucky as I am connected to three di f f e r e n t cultures, ideas and ways at and l i v i n g l i f e " . I was moved by these young peoples' words and st o r i e s . The care and attention that developed from t h e i r personal h i s t o r i e s confirmed my thinking about the power and influence of art making i n t e l l i n g stories about what one knows, and how one communicates. In other words, these stories and images were not only meaningful to each individual but also the class. What seems to be important was an understanding of where one came from and the t e l l i n g of ones connected relationship with family. It seemed to me,, students appreciated the l i v e s that they have. Perhaps through these children the hopes of t h e i r parents and grandparents, who have had to overcome challenges throughout t h e i r l i v e s as immigrants, are shining through. I was fortunate to have f a c i l i t a t e d t h i s t i l e project at t h i s l o c a l school where my eight year old daughter attended the French immersion program. It wasn't long before the ripples of community engagement surfaced outside of the school setting. For example, one evening on a garden walk through t h i s neighbourhood, I met and spoke with parents whose children worked with me on the t i l e project. The father of one of the grade six boys was constructing a house for a friend. He knew about the t i l e project through his son and of his contributions to the c o l l e c t i v e piece. The student had talked about his school experience at home which was evident from the father knowing about the project. What impressed me, however, was that he implied his son had a strong commitment to i t and viewed i t as valuable. Another parent I met was a mother of twin g i r l s (grade 5 ) who immediately asked me about the t i l e project. She elaborated on the impact the t i l e project had on her g i r l s . They t o l d everybody about i t including aunts, grandparents, uncles, and family friends. Community engagement was exemplified through a strong sense of pride for contributing to a c o l l e c t i v e piece prominently located i n t h e i r school foyer. The students talked about coming back to v i s i t the school as adults to see t h e i r work as eleven year olds. A year l a t e r , the p r o v i n c i a l educational p o l i t i c s has not r e a l l y changed. We remain challenged as parents and members of a community with the threat of f i n a n c i a l cuts to our schools i n exchange for balancing a p r o v i n c i a l budget. However, from my point of view, the contribution of t h e i r community engagement and the f i n a l t i l e mural has created an energy pool within the school that can af f e c t a l l who enter into that space. The t i l e project has prompted transformation i n more than one way. It v i s u a l l y changed the foyer of the school through the contributions of the students, but i t also has engaged the community whose stories about t h e i r family heritage w i l l continue to be a source of pride for many years to come. C H A P T E R F O U R WHAT I F O U N D This chapter elaborates on the community-based art practices of t h i s case study i n a Vancouver public school. I was seeking to learn about community engagement rooted i n the h i s t o r i c a l contexts of: voice, iden t i t y , empowerment, a c c e s s i b i l i t y and s o c i a l change. I was curious to f i n d out how these access points of community-based art practices affected relationships among individuals, community members, and the school environment. When analyzing the ways in which access points emerge out of relationships with each other and processes of community engagement, I recognized that they inform and influence each other. For instance, when we speak or communicate with other people (voice), we can not help but represent ourselves (identity) and the various roles we play i n our day to day l i v e s . Thus, I debated the need to pre c i s e l y define these access points as i f they were mutually exclusive, and i n the end, I decided that a more f l u i d relationship was necessary even though t h i s overlapping of concepts created more work for the reader of t h i s thesis. Perhaps representing these concepts c l e a r l y i s not an advantageous goal when they are l i v e d and understood through the complexity of c u l t u r a l conditions i n communities. Below, I have selected excerpts from student participants, parents, administrators, teachers and some members of the community-at-large who participated i n conversations about these practices. The interviewing process took place over six weeks at the School. Twenty four students were interviewed, three teachers, the p r i n c i p a l , two youth workers, the neighbourhood assistant worker, and fourteen parents. How would t h e i r words illuminate the relevancy and meaning of this project for t h e i r community? I agree with Seidman (1998) that The purpose of in-depth interviewing i s not to get answers to questions, nor to test hypotheses, and not to evaluate as the term i s normally used. At the root of in-depth interviewing i s an interest i n understanding the experience of other people and the meaning they make of that experience. Being interested i n others i s the key to some of the basic assumptions underlying interviewing techniques, (p.3) I took t h i s quote to heart as I wondered about notions Of community engagement. I assumed that students also needed time to sc r u t i n i z e t h e i r perceptions of t h e i r community-based art practices. Voice In community-based art practices the notion of voice has to do with providing a safe and caring space for community members to have t h e i r thoughts represented or spoken. In t h i s case study the grade f i v e and six students began with inquiry into t h e i r own c u l t u r a l heritages. The questions I examined about voice for thi s case study were: how did student participants, parents and members of the community-at-large fi n d meaning through p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n community-based art practices? How did community-based art practices encourage community engagements? How can community engagements confirm, represent and support conversations across the diverse voices of community? What I heard i n the interviews around meaning making frequently had to do with 'belonging' to a community. Many people responded emphasizing the importance of l i n k i n g , connecting, and belonging with each other. These connections not only occurred throughout the development of the i r community-based art practices, but also, when the completed t i l e mural was i n s t a l l e d i n the front foyer of this public school. For example the p r i n c i p a l stated, Jake (Principal): The project has affected the community on several d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s . F i r s t of a l l , on a kid l e v e l , working with the kids i n the classroom brought the kids together with a tangible focus and concrete project that they could see and l a s t along time. That brought a great deal of pride to t h e i r work and i t connected them p h y s i c a l l y and emotionally, to the school. The s t a f f saw thi s going on and they also, were connected to t h i s . Not just the teachers who were d i r e c t l y involved but also the teachers, i n d i r e c t l y involved. The community and the wider group of kids and the parents view t h i s welcoming wall when they come into the building and not only i s i t i n a place where t h e i r was nothing before but i t ' s the f i r s t thing that people see when they come into the front foyer. No matter what language you speak, there i s something there for you. It's been kid created, and a c h i l d created artefact demonstrates a grassroots creation that now acts as an introduction to the_ school. So, i t ' s a very loving and warm welcome for the people who come to t h i s school. The community f e e l great about i t , the kids f e e l good about i t , but so do the other people who come here who don't know the school. So I think i t r e a l l y helped bring together the community and school as a focus that t h i s i s to say your welcome here. Tim (Youth Worker): It's a welcoming. It's one of the things we've been working on i s i n v i t i n g people in , kids primarily but, also parents to, who don't necessarily have great h i s t o r i e s either as children or as parents with schools. In some of the c u l t u r a l backgrounds they might even f i n d schools sort of overbearing i n an authoritative way. Having a front foyer that has those kinds of welcoming messages i s supportive. Sally (Student): It made the lobby f e e l bigger and i t makes people f e e l welcome. If they are from a d i f f e r e n t culture and they see welcome i n t h e i r language they f e e l that they are welcome. Jake (Principal): Coming back to the word connectedness, I think that one of the things kids need i n the school i s to be connected to an organization or i n s t i t u t e , i n t h i s case, i t i s our school. What I think, i s that i t has helped to draw a connectedness between the school and the c h i l d on a long-term basis. From year to year kids w i l l have di f f e r e n t teachers and have d i f f e r e n t friends but that piece of t i l e w i l l be there for a long time. And i t ' s something they created, t h e y ' l l get bigger, and watch the t i l e get smaller and remember things they did, and who the teachers were and who you were but they w i l l be connected, because a piece of t h e i r creation has been apart of t h i s school. Mary Ann (Parent): The fact that a piece that was done by them, the student, regardless, which student holds the value. It's that sense of belonging; the value of belonging i n the building and there i s also the belonging i n the community. That's what I see i n t h i s piece, happening. Kathleen (Student): I phoned my grandma i n Russia and t o l d her about i t . Moira (Parent): It cheered-up the front foyer entrance and introduced a whole l o t of d i f f e r e n t languages that kids hadn't r e a l l y thought about, that maybe they didn't know that there were a l l those languages and cultures i n our school. When I saw 'Namaste' I learned that word on a Sunday and then I came i n here on Monday and saw i t on the t i l e and i t was l i k e a rea l connection for me. It was-making a l i n k between two d i f f e r e n t things that I had learned. Kathleen (Student): I found out that Cyndy was Ukrainian to and that I'm not the only person i n Vancouver who i s Ukrainian. J i l l (Parent): When I had gone to the wall and the g i r l s had shown me what they'd drawn, many kids were gathering i n that area and t h e i r was lo t s of language and s o c i a l i z a t i o n going on saying; Hey I did th i s what did you draw? I think i t brought the community of the kids together, to say, t h i s i s what we did. Jared (Student): I think t h i s represents the school and the many people who go t h e i r because of the culture. It just brings Hastings into one big c u l t u r a l family. Through the interviewing process, I came to r e a l i z e how the representation of the students' voices held a place within t h e i r community. Through t h e i r community-based art practices the students had transformed the environment of the front lobby. I experienced students deepening t h e i r sense of place. Through c o l l e c t i v e experiences that resulted i n them creating the art space they strengthened t h e i r sense of belonging. Because of the permanency of thi s art space the representation of t h e i r voices has the potential to continue for many years. Immediate members of th i s community w i l l be able to see thi s piece as well as many v i s i t o r s . Because t h i s art space i s i n a public s i t e i t assumed a l i f e of i t s own. It has provided an ongoing opportunity for the public to enter into dialogue through interpretation, of the students' voices over time. I d e n t i t y Researching i d e n t i t y through t h i s case study had to do with examining the students' sense of who they were i n relationship to themselves, each other, and the broader community. Identity formation had everything to do with voice. I found these access points of community-based art practices to be continuously interwoven with each other. During data c o l l e c t i o n , I attempted to create a f l u i d space based on t h e i r inquiry and community engagement that spoke to people i n relationship with t h e i r community-based art practices. I conducted t h i s study because I was curious to fi n d out how these students and community members continually defined, imagined, and sustained t h e i r i d e n t i t y as participants through community engagement. I asked: how do collaborative art experiences i n a public school influence the formation of i d e n t i t y ( s e l f - i d e n t i t y , s o c i a l i d e n t i t y , and s o c i a l relations)? S e l f - i d e n t i t y refers to how one understands his/her sense of s e l f . Social i d e n t i t y refers to how one sees himself or herself i n relationship to other people, and so c i a l relations was about how people interact with one another within t h e i r communities and the world they l i v e d i n . There was much to learn about the formation of i d e n t i t y from t a l k i n g with people about t h e i r community-based art practices. For example, a youth worker said, Sarah (Youth Worker): It's had a pos i t i v e a f f e c t on the i r sense of pride and self-esteem. It" Iras^'helped them with t h e i r sense of i d e n t i t y . Jake (Principal): They were allowed to create something; they were given the freedom of expression. Art i s fabulous that way where the kids are given a chance to create and express themselves i n ways they might not have otherwise got a chance to do. Margaret (Teacher): They went home, they talked to th e i r parents, and they learned more about themselves. Nicola (Student): Well, i f I could go back, I'd probably change mine because a flower doesn't r e a l l y describe me. I just was r e a l l y into drawing flowers right then. So, I guess, i t does symbolize me then. Margaret (Teacher): They went home, they talked to the i r parents, and they learnt more about themselves. Donna (Parent): One of my boys did do a t i l e and the sense of pride with the t i l e meant that he enjoyed dragging everyone he could find, passed his t i l e to show them his work and I think i t has contributed to his sense of pride and beauty. Douglas (Student): I learned more about my friends that I didn't know and that was int e r e s t i n g . Hanna (Student): I'm reminded of my great grandma when I look at my t i l e because she had a stroke when I was doing my t i l e . She died aft e r her birthday, she was 88 years old. Sarah (Youth Worker): They have had an opportunity to id e n t i f y with the art through t h e i r own c u l t u r a l background. They'll see th e i r culture being honoured and that can't but help t h e i r i d e n t i t y and, t h e i r f e e l i n g of attachment with the school. Jeffery (Student): We had a new learning experience, learning how to paint i n a new way and etching. I never knew that before. Helen (Parent): When I went into the school I wondered i f I would see the Indonesian, Abacada up there. I wondered did my daughter do that? Not r e a l l y thinking she had. After school we were t a l k i n g and she said of course mom there's an Abacada that's mine. I was amazed because i n many ways she doesn't i d e n t i f y with Indonesia, so i t s i g n i f i e d , to me, that she's i d e n t i f y i n g with that side of her. Through community engagement t h e i r community-based art practices were interconnected with the building of strong interpersonal relationships. The opportunity to c o l l e c t i v e l y inquire into ones family heritage allowed them to discover more about each other, and i n so doing, b u i l d a stronger sense of belonging. During the student interviews, we discussed the connections between one another through the formation of th e i r i d e n t i t y within t h e i r school community. This was evident not only i n what the students said but also how adults, (teachers, parents, youth worker, p r i n c i p a l , neighbourhood assistants and the community-at-large) interpreted the student's practices i n t h i s project as well as t h e i r sense of meaning and value. Empowerment Key to community-based art practices was the development of empowerment that evolved through c o l l e c t i v e action, the presence of the member's voice, and i d e n t i t y formation. Empowerment i n t h i s case referred to the development of the student's experiences that i n i t i a l l y drew upon t h e i r own c u l t u r a l heritages, the sharing of t h e i r experiences within c o l l e c t i v e engagement, and then r e f l e c t i n g upon t h e i r practices. The mural of t i l e s recognized and represented c u l t u r a l assets of t h i s s p e c i f i c community group. I wondered about how empowerment was rooted i n notions around the v a l i d a t i o n of the individuals' contributions, voice and i d e n t i t y . What I learned was that empowerment developed through a f e e l i n g of ownership which influenced a pos i t i v e sense of place i n t h e i r public school setting. For example, the following interviews c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e t h i s point, Nolana (Student): They can actually be proud of t h e i r work; they became v i s i b l e because of t h e i r work. If you are not v i s i b l e you won't be list e n e d to, and that wouldn't be a very nice l i f e . Mona (Neighbourhood Assistant): I think for many years t h e y ' l l come back and show which one was t h e i r s . I also think that some of our students from d i f f e r e n t cultures had the opportunity to share a part of them so they are quite proud. Otherwise, they might have been very quiet and i t gave them an opportunity to get out there and say I'm from and t h i s i s what I do. J i l l (Parent): It has given them a sense of pride. I did t h i s , I want to share t h i s with you. They shared with me the process but when i t was up on the wall they wanted to show t h e i r grandparents and t h e i r dad. They r e a l l y wanted to share what they did. Tim (Youth Worker): Personally, I am proud to be a part of a school that i s doing t h i s kind of thing. Proud for the kids because they have the opportunity to shine. Jack (Student): We weren't happy with the furniture being i n front of our t i l e s . Cerise couldn't even see hers. That made her f e e l offended and l e f t out. After we talked with the Vice P r i n c i p a l and moved the furniture so that a l l the t i l e s could be seen, Cerise started to f e e l better. She didn't f e e l l e f t out. Before, the bench was standing right i n front of her t i l e . The furniture i s now better, i t looks better, aside from the project. Indigo (Student): The vice p r i n c i p a l said i f the furniture gets moved back i n front of the t i l e piece we should move i t back. That made us f e e l good l i k e we have a right i n the school. That we are part of the school and i t makes us f e e l wanted and that people notice us. That we have a say i n what goes on at t h i s school. As Adams and Goldberg (2001) reminded me, the significance of active p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n s o c i a l experiences i n community members l i v e s has the potential to strengthen and empower community l i f e . I observed community-based art practices, creating conditions that enabled students to self-determine t h e i r active role as contributors to community l i f e . Accessibility C r i t i c a l to the process of community-based art practices was a c c e s s i b i l i t y to both c o l l e c t i v e engagement and the end product. A c c e s s i b i l i t y supported an opening for members to create relationships, share stories,.and connect in ways they might not otherwise. A l l community members who participated both informed and shaped t h e i r collaborative experiences while enhancing and/or building a sense of belonging. Through the interviewing process I was curious to f i n d out how a c c e s s i b i l i t y to the front foyer and the art space acted as a s i t e for participants to r e v i s i t t h e i r experiences, and for other community members to interpret them. I also wanted to know i f , t h i s art space became s i g n i f i c a n t i n a broader sense influencing people outside the school. As a youth worker pointed out, Tim (Youth Worker): If I had attached something permanent to that school, then I'd f e e l l i k e I could go back there at any age and s t i l l belong, and say, that's my t i l e . Kim (Teacher): That area i s a meeting place; everybody comes i n through those doors. So, i t ' s the f i r s t thing they see when they walk i n and i t starts discussion. I see adults, parents t a l k i n g about i t . Sarah (Youth Worker): I love i t . I think i t ' s great. It was so empty without i t , so i n s t i t u t i o n a l . Now when you walk i n i t ' s so f r i e n d l y i t ' s l i k e you f e e l i t ' s a school that's warm, welcoming and i t ' s approachable. Pauline (Teacher): It's so nice to see my l i t t l e Bee on the wall because b a s i c a l l y your legacy i s a bunch of report cards that end-up i n people's drawer. So, i t ' s nice to have a l i t t l e piece of permanence here, since I've devoted most of my teaching career to th i s school. Douglas (Student): When we f i r s t put i t up we were a l l l i k e oh my gosh. . . where's yours? I think for awhile everybody was thinking . . . WOW! Margaret (Teacher): The t i l e project i s just one of a number of a r t i s t i c endeavours the school has done, the school grounds, the mural i n the multipurpose room, the q u i l t . They a l l compliment each other. J i l l (Parent): I f e e l honoured that the g i r l s were able to pa r t i c i p a t e and I think they f e e l honoured to. They s t i l l t a l k about i t and the energy and tone i n th e i r voice when they t o l d a r e l a t i v e i n Abbotsford indicates that, they are r e a l l y proud. It's r e a l l y good. Margaret (Teacher): I think d e f i n i t e l y that the parents of the school are r e a l l y impressed by the sense of pride i n the school that resulted i n t h i s collaborative e f f o r t . So, I think there i s a sense of ownership-we won't see any g r a f f i t i on that wall. B i l l y (Student): I was so excited when I got up i n the morning. . . It's not l i k e everyday you get to make a t i l e or a monument cause; i t ' s going to be here forever. Mary (Parent): They contributed to t h e i r community, contributed to t h e i r school. It's a sense of them l e f t behind, that w i l l always be there and when they have children they can bring them to the school and say th i s i s what I did when I was eleven. Through the interviews, I gained insights into how these community-based art practices created meaning and value through the development of ownership and pride i n ones community engagements. Once the audience or community members had gained access to thi s art space, they shared t h e i r feelings of connection, sense of pride and belonging. The students enhanced the affe c t of t h e i r community-based art practices by including friends and r e l a t i v e s outside t h e i r immediate c i r c l e to share i n t h e i r excitement and pride over the art space they c o l l e c t i v e l y created. These kinds of practices spoke loudly to the importance of these points of access. Social Change Another access point i d e n t i f i e d through t h i s research was s o c i a l change, where community-based art practices rippled outward from t h e i r point of o r i g i n . The front foyer at the elementary school was transformed by students p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n inquiry about t h e i r family heritage and knowing more about ceramic t i l e history and techniques. From the interviews I conducted i t was evident that community-based art practices were interpreted i n multiple ways by the participants and the members of the community. Their practices affected not only the physical space of the school's front foyer but the community as well, and spoke of the importance of s o c i a l change. How did these experiences strengthen feelings of belonging amongst community members? I wanted to know i f community engagement brought recognition and appreciation for the multitude of heterogeneous stories that resided within t h i s community. How did s o c i a l change aff e c t participants as a community? Some community members said, Claire (Parent): Things that beautify a place add to a sense of ownership and to a sense of things moving in a posi t i v e d i r e c t i o n e s p e c i a l l y at a time when we fe e l as parents a l o t of assault on our school system. So seeing things that show people care and that we are active and mobilized and tryi n g to make things more beautiful a c tually does have an af f e c t . Cheri (Student): Well what I think about that piece and how i t ' s affected the community i s when people look at i t they can actually know i t ' s a welcoming sign. And no matter what language they speak, i t s t i l l says welcome. Karen (Parent): It changes the whole atmosphere of the room. The color i s vibrant; i t just changes the whole room. Kim (Teacher) : I s t i l l see children pointing, out th e i r t i l e s . I s t i l l see them doing that. I'm hoping that continues when the kids come back to v i s i t . We have a l o t of kids that do that, come back to v i s i t . The door i s always open, i t ' s just the way i t i s at thi s school. Joan (Student): They f e e l welcome t h i s i s a great school they can see that the kids made t h i s piece and t h e y ' l l f e e l excited. They'll want to come to t h i s school. Kim (Teacher): When they (the students) are gone the memory of that year w i l l remain for me because when I look at those t i l e s and that i s what I am reminded of. Those students which I had that year, where a deep attachment grew. Elizabeth (Student): Now when someone walks i n t h e y ' l l think Wow! This school i s going to be r e a l l y fun and exciting and I want to spend time here. They might think I would want to do a project l i k e t h i s to. I want to do a t i l e and keep my memory here. Mary (Parent): They did have the interest i n th e i r heritage. They came home and asked t h e i r father what i s your way of l i f e as an Italian? It just opened up that whole discussion of I t a l i a n culture, German heritage and the I r i s h came out to. It validated them, t h i s i s your heritage, t h i s i s where you came from and thee i s nothing about ones culture vs. another culture. ' We are a l l d i f f e r e n t and we are a l l okay, we a l l do things d i f f e r e n t l y . Cindy (Student): When I f i r s t saw my t i l e I thought i t looked awful and now i t ' s kind of nice. People grow-up and they see d i f f e r e n t ways of seeing. Margaret (Teacher): I think the minute you allow students to say okay. . . t h i s i s our work i t d e f i n i t e l y gives them the sense of ownership and pride and I think t h i s t r i c k l e s over to the parents so, they are going to f e e l that to. Caroline (Parent): I think for my oldest daughter i t was a further expression of herself. She was r e a l l y excited about the process and doing i t because she i s leaving a piece of herself at Hastings School. Whereas, my son, he doesn't necessary l i k e doing a r t i s t i c ventures, he just doesn't appreciate the e f f o r t that you take. But, even he was excited by the idea of doing a t i l e . Forever, i t w i l l be on the wall. So, I think for him, s p e c i f i c a l l y to say yes, your c r e a t i v i t y w i l l be acknowledged was meaningful. Mary (Parent): He's one of those pre-teen boys right now and they are a l l into that competitive mode. I c a l l i t the testosterone mode. It taught him i t ' s okay to be sensitive and to have these other q u a l i t i e s . This has given him a chance to look back and say, i t s okay I produced that. I have t h i s other side to me, i t s okay. Caroline (Parent): It taught my daughter to be more focused on an idea instead of just going and painting she actually needs a plan. So, she was able to focus on that and say, thi s i s the idea I have. Adams and Goldbard (2001) suggested that ". . . many types of e f f o r t can advance s o c i a l change... community c u l t u r a l development practices i s uniquely suited, to respond to current s o c i a l conditions such as the value of d i v e r s i t y and fostering an appreciation both of differences and of commonality within difference" (p.105). For example, thi s value of d i v e r s i t y or difference i s c l e a r l y described by t h i s parent when she said, Mary (Parent): I think as a parent coming i n and viewing the pieces causes a l o t of excitement, and i t s t i l l does because other people come i n and ask questions about i t and I think that's the most important part of i t , i s that i t ' s knocking down some of those ignorant barriers that people have. I think that just a l l the dialoguing that's happening because of i t . . .you know so and so painted t h i s and she's Vietnamese and look at that, that's Japanese writing. So, i t ' s created a s t i r amongst the kids. I'm from the hippie generation so I r e a l l y believe i n the philosophical nature that children w i l l lead the way and I think because the children are getting along and they are dialoguing on i t the parents who are s i t t i n g there and looking at the mural...it almost becomes a r e f l e c t i o n of t h e i r children. If they can do i t why can't we do that? And i t ' s creating a dialogue between the parents. So you know peace, love and happiness theory the more you open up to people i s the more you re a l i z e you're the same but i n di f f e r e n t ways. You know the old quote-we a l l bleed red blood. This parent described c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of s o c i a l Change as opportunities for dialogue among parents and children i n "knocking down some of those ignorant barriers that people have." I believe t h i s i l l u s t r a t e d how the students' were engaged through community-based art practices not only for themselves but also other members. Additional Findings When hearing that these collaborative community-based art practices had a strong impact on building d i f f e r e n t kinds of community connections a new question surfaced i n my research. I found myself r e f e r r i n g to Chalmers research where he asked, Why do we make art? How do we use art? What i s art for? I also believe that art has multiple functions. Chalmers (1996) explored these questions and the functions of art and he asserted that the arts are essential for three reasons: to perpetuate, to change, and to enhance culture. Art reinforces and passes on c u l t u r a l values, they sustain, and change culture as well as enhance the environment. The arts, d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y , may bolster the morale of groups, creating unity and s o c i a l s o l i d a r i t y (e.g., public sculpture; uniforms, crests, and i n s i g n i a ; symbols i n printed and woven t e x t i l e s ) , and also may create awareness of s o c i a l issues and lead to s o c i a l change (e.g., the AIDS Memorial Q u i l t ; Judy Chicago's Dinner Party), (p.28) It was when we completed our community-based art practices that I found a set of access points for weaving the threads that combined our collaborative experiences. In my pedagogical role as an a r t i s t , parent, educator and researcher I recognized that community-based art practices functioned i n a number of d i f f e r e n t ways across the c u l t u r a l f a b r i c of t h i s community. Two complex dimensions of community-based art practices that emerged through t h i s research were s o c i a l c a p i t a l and democracy. While I do not probe these concepts in depth i n t h i s thesis, they are extremely important. For example, Chilvers (2003) commented "the act of co-creation that has the capacity to set off a series of event that enhances, c i v i c dialogue, community organizing and lead to increased c i v i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n , an important aspect of democracy" (Chilvers, 2003, p.27). Robert Putnam (2000) observed that the democratic process can "strengthen friendships, help communities to understand and celebrate t h e i r heritage, and providing a safe way to discuss and solve d i f f i c u l t s o c i a l problems" (p.19). However, the development of strengthening friendships, building trust and engaging i n democratic endeavours within community-based art practices doesn't just develop seamlessly. Time for building trust and relationships i s esse n t i a l . Creating these community-based art practices took place over the course of 4 months i n the Spring of 2003. My i n i t i a l entry into the school was as an a r t i s t to c o - f a c i l i t a t e a large art project. Teachers were suspect of the project as they had to adjust t h e i r schedules. The project began afte r spring-break which for many schools can be an extremely busy time of the year. Entering the school for the f i r s t time, I was greeted with cautious optimism even though the project had been c o l l e c t i v e l y determined with the teachers some months previously. So I proceeded slowly as a c o - f a c i l i t a t o r or an ' a r t i s t - i n -residence' because creating a sense of community can be fraught with many issues, such as the l i t t l e amount of time I would actually spend with students. Fortunately, t h i s experience was unique i n that the time allotment was greater than most of my previous work as an ar t i s t - i n - r e s i d e n c e . For instance, through the Vancouver School Board a r t i s t - i n - r e s i d e n c y program, I was allocated a t o t a l of six hours to work with students. For this project, I spent fourteen hours per classroom, a t o t a l of f i f t y six hours plus additional time for i n s t a l l i n g , overseeing the f i r i n g of the t i l e s (students assisted with this) and interviewing. Because my daughter attended t h i s school I was also an active participant i n t h i s community. Our increased time together made a huge difference for building trust and strengthening connections with each other. During t h i s research, teachers r e f l e c t e d on t h e i r experiences of having an a r t i s t come into the school. I asked them i n d i v i d u a l l y to answer the following questions. What sort of relevancy, value and meaning do these community-based practices hold for you and your students? How do you f e e l having an a r t i s t i n residence i n your classroom? And how do you interpret these kinds of practices? Pauline (Teacher): I think they are very proud of this project and you go down there and y o u ' l l see-kids saying, there's my t i l e . They'll be pointing out to the i r parents and pointing out to other people and I think just v i s u a l l y , i t looks lovely. I think often times we are so dictated by curriculum that we don't a lo t that much time on one singular project. So, I think the fact that each c h i l d got a l l that time to explore i n just t h i s one area for a period of 3 - 4 weeks i n a concentrated way made them f e e l very good inside. That they had a l l that time to explore and change.and to add, to delete to the process. Margaret (Teacher): I think they had a l i t t l e window into t h e i r parents culture and to learn something so basic as the word hello or Welcome, which r e a l l y i s n ' t that basic. . . i t ' s the f i r s t thing we say to someone when we meet them. It's a welcoming gesture and I think that some students learnt to day welcome/hello in other languages. That they might use t h i s i n t h e i r l i f e I see as a connection and relevant to t h e i r l i v e s . Pauline (Teacher): From an a r t i s t i c point of view, that opportunity to work with an a r t i s t , you brought them from the very beginning of a concept through a l l the various stages to i t s f i n a l conclusion and to produce something they could f e e l proud of on a variety of d i f f e r e n t levels of the student's a b i l i t y . It augmented what we were doing i n our immigration unit extending an a r t i s t i c representation of s e l f and family and t h e i r place i n the whole community. Kim (Teacher): Just going through that whole process espe c i a l l y each day, looking over what we had done and analyzing i t . It's the a r t i s t l i k e you who do t h i s better that the teachers . . . c r i t i q u i n g of work that i s non-judgmental and finding good i n work. We often, because we have so much curriculum to do, and people are always adding to our curriculum and never taking i t away. So, we are always thinking we got to get a l l t h i s s t u f f done by the end of the year we don't often take the time to do that. So, I think that part of the process for the children was also important to do. Being able to have that time to evaluate the work, with the process and just to watch i t a l l evolve, that was important. Margaret (Teacher): They researched t h e i r family heritage and found out a l i t t l e b i t of language s p e c i f i c to them and the contributed to something that w i l l always be here. I think the kids had a deep interest with the word welcome and the multiple ways you can say i t . So, the kids explored other words you can say welcome through d i f f e r e n t languages. It generated a l o t of int e r e s t . Kim (Teacher): It was a great experience for them and I don't know i f they r e a l i z e d i t at the time but they keep going back to i t , unlike the art that they do i n the classroom that i s kind of disposable, where t h i s i s a permanent piece and i t means something to them. I see them down there a l l the time. They s t i l l look for t h e i r piece and they s t i l l t a lk about i t . I asked teachers i f they had considered integrating community-based art practices i n any way with t h e i r curriculum now or i n the future. Pauline (Teacher): What a great idea. We are f i n i s h i n g the immigration unit right now and up to th i s point we haven't brought that into the piep.e . . . we here seem to have a l o t of thing parachuting into our schools i t seems we are always doing new things and very rarely do we have time to r e f l e c t and process what we have done i n the past. Margaret (Teacher): I can see using i t with the students p a r t i c u l a r l y when the o r i g i n a l participants are gone to another school. Having done the process I can share with them the process and looking at i t from the perspective of the number of d i f f e r e n t languages represented could be useful. Kim (Teacher): If I taught that curriculum again, yes I can see me using that piece. Right now I teach grade seven and that's not part of the curriculum. As I continuously analyzed the coll e c t e d data, other questions emerged. If community engagement was meaningful and valuable as my research findings suggested, how can i t be sustained through community-based art practices at a public school? I asked the teachers to discuss how curriculum integration might occur through meaningful connections. What I learned was that i n our case th i s occurred through the t e l l i n g of st o r i e s . Stories about lif e - c e n t e r e d issues led t h i s specific, group of heterogeneous students, to represent themselves through a t i l e mural. Conceivably other discussions might i n i t i a t e questions around c u l t u r a l production such as, Why do we make art? What function does art play i n culture? Or what does the recognition of ones community mean for the individuals and members of the community-at-large? I have also come to r e a l i z e that curriculum discussions between teachers and a r t i s t s need to star t at the beginning of community-based art practices around l i f e -long learning of life - c e n t e r e d issues. How can we view community engagements i n a broader context? How might i t intersect with curriculum integration i n the current year? The following years? How can an art space remain a v i t a l source for community engagement and not become only, 'art on the wall'? Curriculum s u s t a i n a b i l i t y can help to encourage s o c i a l change and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on the part of future school community members. In t h i s way a community art space and community-based art practices have the potential to lead to a sense of l i f e - l o n g learning. Conclusion Having taken t h i s opportunity to examine these p a r t i c u l a r community-based art practices, I wrote t h i s thesis to allow myself time to deliberate and develop a stronger, sustained relationship with t h i s school community which would otherwise, probably not have happened. Community-based art practices don't have to follow a s p e c i f i c "how-to" step-by-step approach but rather they can emerge from processes of building on community, belonging, and t r u s t . As Sarah Chilvers (2003) pointed out, Community processes are, by t h e i r very nature, cumbersome and p o t e n t i a l l y messy. There i s no 'quick-f i x ' when a number of perspectives and assumptions are functioning simultaneously. This applies as much to making art as i t does to af f e c t i n g change i n a community. Change takes time, and ideas need to incubate. Time spent learning, about the culture of .the community i s an indispensable part of community building trust, (p.17) It was evident through t h i s research that the success of the community engagements and community-based art practices were based on many di f f e r e n t factors or goals. The benchmark I used was to i d e n t i f y the posit i v e impact these collaborative e f f o r t s had on students and t h e i r parents, fellow students, teachers and me, the a r t i s t . A sense of belonging or community s p i r i t was aptly voiced, by one student when she said, "Its way more colour f u l , i t ' s not just a wall anymore. Now i t ' s l i k e , look at t h i s Masterpiece !" Upon c r i t i c a l deliberation, I am reminded of other community-based art practices I have c o - f a c i l i t a t e d , where s i m i l a r l y a sense of ownership, relationship building, and connecting with members of the community occurred throughout the project and continued even after the art was completed. In other words, once the art was i n s t a l l e d these spaces could take on a public l i f e of t h e i r own. It was c r i t i c a l that the community of participants had a sense of value and relevancy which included not only the student participants but in v i t e d other people to interact with the community space. In t h i s way, art served many functions i n our community and had multiple purposes that crossed various cultures (Chalmers 1996, Kindler, 1999, Wilson Kind, 2004, Neperud, 1995, Krug, 1996, 2002). My findings suggested that collaboration within community-based art practices held multiple community and individual benefits. From my interviews with students and adults, I found out that some of the benefits from t h e i r experiences were the posit i v e formation of t h e i r se.nse of, • s e l f i d e n t i t y ; who they are and how they represented themselves, • s o c i a l i d e n t i t y ; how they saw themselves i n relationship to each other and • s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s ; how they interacted with the community-at large and viewed t h e i r sense of belonging. My findings are echoed i n the words of a r t i s t Suzanne Lacy (1995) a p r a c t i t i o n e r of new genre art who defined the function of art as. . . Whether i t operates as symbolic gesture or concrete action, new genre public art must be evaluated i n a multifaceted way to account for i t s impact not only on action but on consciousness, not only on others but on the a r t i s t s themselves, and not only on other a r t i s t s ' practices but on the d e f i n i t i o n of art. Central to t h i s evaluation i s a r e d e f i n i t i o n that may well challenge the nature of art as we know i t , art not primarily as product but as a process of value finding, a set of philosophies, an e t h i c a l action, and an aspect of a larger s o c i o c u l t u r a l agenda, (p.46) While these community-based art practices contextually began with the study of family heritages, students'' inquiry eventually took on a l i f e of i t s own through t h e i r research and community engagement. As an a r t i s t , parent, teacher, and researcher I was a thread i n the fab r i c of these community engagements. As a participant, I contributed my passion and knowledge of ceramic history and technique to the project. The students rose to the occasion to investigate new media and engage i n a c o l l e c t i v e creative endeavour. Through t h e i r inquiry they drew upon p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l values. They shared t h e i r stories with t h e i r families and with each other i n order to learn more about themselves. This action made a connection between art-making and t h e i r everyday l i v e s . CHAPTER FIVE WHERE TO NOW When I entered the graduate program at UBC, I came with a s p e c i f i c agenda to look at community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s . I t was at a time of my l i f e where I was l e a v i n g a c a r e e r as a classroom teacher and had a l r e a d y conducted community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s f o r some f i v e years. I had s p e c i f i c q u e s t i o n s . I wanted to understand how community members engaged i n these c o l l a b o r a t i v e processes, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f the c u r r i c u l u m was determined by me as the a r t i s t or as i n t h i s case study, the teachers and a d m i n i s t r a t o r . I wanted to understand i f the experiences strengthened community connections and how they h e l d value and meaning f o r both the p a r t i c i p a n t s and the community-at-l a r g e . I a l s o wanted to understand these p r a c t i c e s from a t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e i n order to broaden my own a r t i s t i c and e d u c a t i o n a l understanding. Since my community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s are p r i m a r i l y s i t u a t e d i n schools the o p p o r t u n i t y to use t h i s case study to look at these questions, f o r me, made a l o t of sense. In chapter two I l a i d out my i n i t i a l r e s e a r c h questions based on the above i d e a s : • How can community engagement p o s i t i v e l y a f f e c t t h e d a i l y l i f e o f a s p e c i f i c community? • How can or do t h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s h o l d meaning and v a l u e f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h e i r community? • D i d t h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s s t r e n g t h e n t h e s c h o o l s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the community? • How can community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s s t r e n g t h e n t h e s c h o o l s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the community? • What was the impact o f t h e s e community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s on t h e b r o a d e r s c h o o l community? • Why i s i t so i m p o r t a n t now t h a t I have become i n t e r e s t e d i n the s e a r c h f o r an answer t o t h e s e and o t h e r q u e s t i o n s ? At t h i s p o i n t , I b e l i e v e t h e s e q u e s t i o n s have been answered t h r o u g h t h e v o i c e s of s t u d e n t s , t e a c h e r s , p a r e n t s , and t h e co m m u n i t y - a t - l a r g e i n t h e i n t e r v i e w s i n c h a p t e r 4 and t h e d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e i r work i n c h a p t e r 3. T h e r e f o r e , I w i l l not d e t a i l them here, but e l a b o r a t e f u r t h e r on them and o t h e r q u e s t i o n s t h a t d e v e l o p e d t h r o u g h t h e r e s e a r c h i n t h i s c h a p t e r . I b e l i e v e a r t h o l d s m u l t i p l e f u n c t i o n s i n s o c i e t i e s . Community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s encompass some of them. T h i s case s t u d y has p r o v i d e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r me t o be a c r i t i c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r and understand how community-based art practices can function i n meaningful ways for students, parents, teachers the community-at-large and myself. As a c r i t i c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r i n community-based art practices, I have come to understand how engaging with lif e - c e n t e r e d issues within inquiry, can create circumstances for strengthening ones sense of belonging and relationship building. What I learned through t h i s research was how the access points of voice, ide n t i t y , empowerment, a c c e s s i b i l i t y and s o c i a l change, can emerge out of relationships with each other and processes of community engagement. For example, i n th i s case study, the integration of inquiry into the s o c i a l studies curriculum and the involvement of parents and other family members enlarged the community engagement of individuals. Like a pebble tossed i n the once s t i l l waters of a neighborhood pond, community engagement rippled further from the center than I could have ever anticipated. Through my involvement, research and observation with th i s case study, I now hold a more c r i t i c a l understanding for how these community-based art practices have the potential to enlarge community engagement i n future projects. I believe the potential for community engagements as a dimension of c u l t u r a l production can expand outside of the classroom to strengthen and include other aspects of life- c e n t e r e d issues that inform ones sense of s e l f , community and belonging. I have also come to r e a l i z e that the notion of s u s t a i n a b i l i t y needs to be apart of the conversation at the beginning of planning curriculum. I need to consider how I can encourage s u s t a i n a b i l i t y with teachers i n order for them to i n s t i l l i n t h e i r students learning that results i n community art spaces that hold meaning and value for future school populations. How can a community art-space be created so as to not turn into just art on the wall or a project that these students did that year? I now can see how dialogue, s o c i a l change and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y should be a sta r t i n g point for creating a community art space for teachers, students, parents and community members. However, i t i s not enough to engage students i n community based art practices to encourage s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . Parents, administration, and espe c i a l l y teachers also need to b u i l d a sense of belonging i f an art space i s to play a v i t a l role i n the l i f e of future school communities. This can begin as e a s i l y as de-briefing with teachers after classroom sessions i n order for thi s to happen. My c r i t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e has al s o been i n f l u e n c e d by the time allowance needed f o r community engagements i n schools. The Vancouver School Board a l l o c a t e s only 6 hours, which severely l i m i t s an a r t i s t s p r a c t i c e s . I f community belonging i s going to be engaged and sustained, time a l l o c a t i o n f o r p r o j e c t s needs to be expanded. I t i s not p o s s i b l e to b u i l d t r u s t among p a r t i c i p a n t s w i t h i n only s i x hours. I have learned that a r t i s t s working i n schools can be a fundamental part of these p r a c t i c e s . I t i s not about ' t r a i n i n g ' teachers but rather the i n c l u s i o n of a r t i s t s committed to art-making w i t h i n these s o c i a l contexts and the school community. For instance, t h i s year a number of o p p o r t u n i t i e s were presented to me by other p u b l i c schools to work with students, parents, teachers and the community-at-large i n community-based a r t p r a c t i c e s . Recognizing the value that p r a c t i c e s hold, teachers, a d m i n i s t r a t o r s and parent advisory boards had r a i s e d the necessary funding and a l l o c a t e d p u b l i c space i n the school f o r an a r t i s t - i n -residence. One funding agency f o r a r t i s t s i n the schools i s A r t S t a r t s and t h e i r Catalyst for Change program. Other funding agencies i n c l u d e The Vancouver Foundation, Parent Advisory Boards and the Vancity Community Program. However, a l l of these groups are competitive with li m i t e d resources. With this' said, I s t i l l believe community engagements are possible. For instance, t h i s year I worked with another B r i t i s h Columbia public school involving 405 students and t h e i r parents, teachers, administrator and the community-at large. Part of the funding was raised by the students ($3600.00) through a spell-a-thon and door-to-door community canvassing. The Parent Advisory Board also put forward a substantial amount of funds and the l o c a l school board contributed to the f i n a n c i a l equation. I entered into t h e i r curriculum process mid-cycle. The students and teachers had been investigating "What do we need i n the world to make i t a better/good place to l i v e ? " over the course of the school year. Figure (30) This student represented a droplet of water as his contribution to "what the world needs to make i t a good place to l i v e " . Figure (31) While t h i s student of aboriginal ancestry u t i l i z e d her c u l t u r a l background to represent what she f e l t was necessary. "We need the feather for freedom and the two eyes to watch over and guide us along the way." As a way to i l l u s t r a t e how I see the access points I have described i n th i s thesis a s s i s t i n g me i n my own future c r i t i c a l practices, I w i l l b r i e f l y discuss, below, how they were used as I entered into the already ongoing inquiry of thi s school residency as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent and researcher. My voice as the a r t i s t and teacher was v i s i b l e i n the students work. When I teach them about ceramic t i l e history, we look at the p r i n c i p l e s of design through the s o c i a l history of ceramic t i l e . Division of space, borders, patterning and the narrative are a l l present i n th e i r work. My voice enables me to engage i n t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e art-making inquiry. I share my i d e n t i t y as an a r t i s t , parent, teacher, and researcher by engaging others to work together to inquire about ceramic history, technique and surface treatment. In th i s way, I am able to impart, motivate and insp i r e t h e i r creative endeavors. Now, when I enter into the schools public space i t i s enlarged by a l l who remember me. Often I am greeted i n stores, at the swimming pool, and on the street from students, teachers and community members I would not have otherwise had access to. My daughter sees t h i s and continues to form her sense of belonging and community understanding through me as her mother and as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent and community member. I now understand the synthesis of id e n t i t y formation i n a deeper way than I did when I began th i s research project. I recognize that access to community should not be taken-for-granted. I gained access by way of an i n v i t a t i o n . Access i s a c r i t i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n that i t allows for the opportunity of people to begin a working relationship of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Through access I have learned that there i s a certain commitment and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y that i s necessary i n order for community belonging to form. Empowerment developed for me through the p a r t i c i p a t i o n or access to the community's c o l l e c t i v e endeavors. The significance of my role i n the community's success was connected with my understanding as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent and researcher and my knowledge of using the materials and creating a community art space. For me, empowerment encompasses how I now hold a sense of belonging in t h i s community. Empowerment, as well, i s the recognition of my i d e n t i t y formation and a b i l i t y to have my voice be a part of a broader ongoing conversation with others engaged in community-based art practices. It was my choice to par t i c i p a t e i n community-based art practices as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher. I believe i n s o c i a l change because I value creating the conditions for communities to engage i n creative endeavors. Community-based art practices allowed for collaboration and e g a l i t a r i a n p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and I believe that these engagements have the potential to affe c t people i n posit i v e ways both as participants and as members of the community-at-large. I now hold a stronger commitment for the value of community engagement strengthened through inquiry, the need for belonging and to take ownership of ones own c u l t u r a l productions. My practices as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent and researcher have been empowered through these multiple access point that emerged out of the relationships with other people and through processes of community engagement. My interest i n art education developed out of my practices as an a r t i s t when I began asking myself: What else can I do as an a r t i s t other than create work i n my studio? That question guided me to where I began to seek di f f e r e n t ways i n which to contribute to processes of community engagement and c u l t u r a l production. I became interested i n working within d i a l o g i c relationships of art making, which placed emphasis on the collaborative and s o c i a l aspects of production. These s o c i a l aspects required me to u t i l i z e my teaching s k i l l s i n order to i n s t i l l i n others community-based art•practices and engagement with community groups. I believe that my interest i n community developed after moving around the country for a number of years and tryin g to deal with my own sense of displacement. Becoming a mother amplified my desire and need to connect with others and create a sense of belonging for myself and my family. My formative years as an educator developed through t r a i n i n g and p r a c t i c i n g of Montessori education. Key concepts from a Montessori philosophy continue to inform my educational practices including, the recognition for the ind i v i d u a l as a whole, which i s inseparable from physical, emotional, s o c i a l , aesthetic, s p i r i t u a l , and cognitive needs. Learning takes place through the senses, i d e a l l y with an unrestricted time allowance and freedom for manipulation and exploration of materials. Underscoring these p r i n c i p l e s i s respect for s e l f , others, and the environment. However, i t i s the concept of the environment as the t h i r d teacher that continues to ins p i r e me i n regards to community-based art practices. Through t h i s research I have learned a public art space can be created where the community has dir e c t and d a i l y access to the art work. Within t h i s public space, I believe a sustaining af f e c t can develop between the work and the community-at-large. This sustaining "sense of place" forms around multiple access points. For example, at the school story t e l l i n g continues around the t i l e mural by participants who created i t and discussions are also s t i l l generated between parents. The educators, administrator, and support s t a f f recognized that the meanings t h i s project holds for themselves and others can be p a r t i a l l y understood by the values and meaning of the work which allow access points for new-comers to the school. A sense of ownership and pride towards the work and school developed among the participants who created the piece and the community who recognized the transformation of the lobby. I interpret t h i s transformation of the school foyer as representative of the student's voices and as an addition of a " t h i r d " teacher. I've come to recognize the value that these multiple access points o f f e r . Educators need to acknowledge that these access points can be part of creative endeavors which can benefit a l l kinds of learners. I view these multiple access points as being rooted i n the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of community-based art practices inclusive of voice, identity, a c c e s s i b i l i t y , empowerment and s o c i a l change. These access points are important ideas for teachers to think about and consider i n t h e i r engagement with students and to broaden t h e i r own understandings of educational practices. In t h i s case study, the representation of voice became an access point by beginning with inquiry into c u l t u r a l heritages. Through the diverse representation of t h e i r voices the students created a permanent art space i n a public school setting. As active participants i n community engagement, the grade 5 and 6 students' strengthened t h e i r sense of belonging to t h e i r community. These multiple representations of voice acted not only as an access point for the participants but for the community-at-large. I believe through these diverse voices, students and community members began to sustain t h e i r sense of belonging and membership i n t h i s community. This i s what I found by examining how teachers engage i n practices that enable student voices to contribute to and affect t h e i r community. Another access point for creating community, engagement was the strengthening of ones sense of i d e n t i t y formation and belonging. Identity formation i s an ongoing, transformative process with s e l f i n relationship to others. In these community-based art practices students were c a l l e d into community engagement. There was an emphasis placed on collaborative p a r t i c i p a t i o n , shaped by a l l who partook i n these processes. We were c a l l e d into community engagement and our sense of s e l f became stronger as interpersonal relationships were b u i l t through inquiry. By inquiring into ones own c u l t u r a l heritage and engaging in c u l t u r a l production, an opportunity developed where the student sense df s e l f was supported i n relationship to others. This access point became apparent as I examined how teachers created circumstances that enhanced the building of s e l f -i dentity, s o c i a l i d e n t i t y and s o c i a l relations through inquiry of lif e - c e n t e r e d issues. Through community engagement, students created a public art space i n t h e i r school. A sense of empowerment developed through connections formed from contributing to t h e i r own community. Their voices and i d e n t i t y were seen by themselves and others as important within t h e i r school. As an access point, empowerment spoke to a sense of ownership and pride i n community r e a l i z e d through t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e actions. The creation of t h i s community-based art space w i l l remain empowering i f individuals continue to connect t h e i r sense of belonging to the p o s i t i v e a f f e c t i t has had on the community-at-large. This access point was c l a r i f i e d by examining how teachers created conditions that enabled students to contribute to t h e i r community-life through a heightened sense of commitment, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and self-determination. A c c e s s i b i l i t y i s another access point I examined i n th i s case study. It supports notion of active p a r t i c i p a t i o n rooted i n l o c a l , everyday and s o c i a l contexts relevant to that community. A c c e s s i b i l i t y i n t h i s research, operated i n multiple ways including community engagement in inquiry, access to new ceramic techniques and materials, creating an art space and an opportunity for interpreting the completed work. I believe a c c e s s i b i l i t y i n community-based art practices and the completed art space encouraged relationship building, strengthened ownership and enhanced the physical space through community member's voices. This access point was examined by looking at how i t was possible for the school to provide circumstances that encouraged the transformation of a public physical setting. Social change was also an access point examined. It spoke to the e f f o r t of responding to and acknowledging the value and appreciation of d i v e r s i t y i n ones community. Indicative of how these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were interwoven, s o c i a l change interfaced with community member's voices, i d e n t i t y formation, empowerment, and a c c e s s i b i l i t y . In so doing, ones sense of belonging and empowerment was strengthened. As an access point, s o c i a l change was important because of how the s o c i a l experiences of community-based art practices fostered appreciation for differences yet acknowledged the common ground within these differences. These experiences deepened the community member's sense of belonging and sense of place. This was uncovered by looking at how teachers assisted with the development of studying current s o c i a l issues i n t h e i r own classrooms and schools. C o n c l u s i o n While I recognize that I have learned a great deal through th i s case study I am s t i l l l e f t with many new and evolving questions. For example, community-based art practices are s p e c i f i c a l l y group focused as opposed to i n d i v i d u a l l y learned and developed. This means that the issues a f f e c t i n g the ind i v i d u a l participant i s always seen i n relationship to the group. How can teachers support community engagement within t h e i r classrooms where accountability may not be as c l e a r l y defined as an indi v i d u a l engaged i n 'their own' work? While I see these multiple access points of voice, iden t i t y , a c c e s s i b i l i t y , empowerment and s o c i a l changeras chief c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of community-based art practices, I recognize that t h i s i s not a d e f i n i t i v e l i s t . In fact, I believe other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w i l l emerge as I continue to study community engagement as a teacher, a r t i s t , parent, and researcher. For example, I have not addressed aesthetic value as an e x p l i c i t access point to community-based art practices. However, the art space that was created using ceramic t i l e s was v i s u a l l y engaging because the mural consisted of a r i c h palette of color and complicated design elements. One's a b i l i t y to touch the work, because of the nature of clay, with no r e s t r i c t i o n s offered a sensorial experience. The l i g h t r e f l e c t i n g off the glazed surface also enhanced the work by v i s u a l l y c a l l i n g one to engage with the ceramic t i l e mural. What I uncovered i n the process of my research i s that I am moving towards an educational position of community engagement of c u l t u r a l production with groups of people that connect art with li f e - c e n t e r e d issues and experiences. I enjoyed studying the l o c a l f a b r i c of i d e n t i t y formations and helping to foster a sense of belonging, a sense of place through voice, iden t i t y , a c c e s s i b i l i t y , empowerment and s o c i a l change. Community-based art practices are complex emergent processes of learning. I agree with Sylvia Wilson (2004) who described the making of art as a story for human construction. "Art i s a way that we t e l l . . . stories about ourselves to ourselves and to others" (p. 22). Community-based art practices can begin with inquiry. In the case of the school t i l e project, the students looked at t h e i r own c u l t u r a l backgrounds and t h e i r everyday l i f e . They asked: What do I love to do? How can t h i s be represented? How can I learn from special events with family? And, with friends? Through the interviews of t h i s research, I learned of the value and relevancy of t h i s approach to art education for students, community members, educators and myself. Community-based art practices spoke to art-making within s o c i a l contexts that provide for opportunities to represent and t e l l s tories about ourselves. I am reminded by A l i b h a i (2001) of the long history t h i s kind of engagement holds for us. "Groups of people around the world have,expressed and defined themselves through c u l t u r a l production since humans began to l i v e i n communities" (p.83). My findings suggest that community-based art practices benefit not only the participants who engage i n them but also the community-at-large. Art plays many functions i n so c i e t i e s . Community-based art practices e x p l i c i t l y challenge a modern d e f i n i t i o n of art as Mary Jane Jacob (1996) described. This work changed the d e f i n i t i o n of art as we have known i t i n t h i s century by bringing the community into the creative process as coauthor, rejecting the modernist notion of the a r t i s t as sole heroic a r t i s t i c genius, and returning art to i t s communal origins, e s p e c i a l l y as evidenced i n non-Western t r a d i t i o n s , (p. 45) Fi n a l l y , I acknowledge that the process of writing t h i s thesis provided me the opportunity to investigate my own practices as an a r t i s t , teacher, parent, and researcher. In so doing, I understand more f u l l y how my interests i n teaching, c u l t u r a l production, and l i f e experiences compliment and inform each other. In many ways the end product, 'the thesis' l i k e community-based art practices has become a marker representing my t r a n s i t i o n 'from being an a r t i s t working from a model of ind i v i d u a l authorship to one of community engagement inc l u s i v e of my l i f e as an teacher, parent, a r t i s t , • researcher, and community member. References Adams, D. and A. Goldbard (2001). Creative community, the art of c u l t u r a l development. New York: Rockefeller Foundation. Anderson, R. (1997). A case study of the a r t i s t as teacher through the video work of Martha Davis. Studies in Art Education 39(1), 37-56. Al i b h a i , A. A. (2001). Locating community art practices. In Connections 4 A r t i s t s ' Projects, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey B r i t i s h Columbia: National Library of Canada. Brenson, M. (1995). Healing i n time. In Mary Jane Jacob (Ed.). Culture in action (pp.36-58). Seattle, Washington: Bay Press. Burnaford, G., A p r i l A., & Weiss C. (Eds.). (2001). Renaissance in the classroom, arts i n t e g r a t i o n and meaningful learning. London, England: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Cahan, S. & Kocur, Z. (Eds.). (1996). Contemporary art and m u l t i c u l t u r a l education. New York: Routledge. Chalmers, G. (1996). Celebrating pluralism: Art education & c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i t y . Santa Monica, C a l i f . : Getty Center for Education i n the Arts. Chilvers, S. (2003). Community-based art and social j u s t i c e grantmaking: Intersections for community foundations. New York: Centre for the Study of Philanthropy. Davis, B. and Sumara, D. J. (1997). Enlarging the space of the possible: Complexity, complicity, and action-research practices. In T. Carson & D. Sumara (Eds.). Action Research as a L i v i n g P r a c t i c e . New York: Peter Lang. Dissanayke, E. (1988). What i s art for?. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Donmoyer, R. (1990). G e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y and the single-case study. In E l l i o t Eisner & Alan Peshkin (Eds.). Q u a l i t a t i v e Inquiry in Education. New York: Teachers College Press. Felkins, P. (2002). Community at work, creating and celebrating community in organizational l i f e . C r e s s k i l l , New Jersey: Hampton Press Inc. Gablik, S. (1991). The Reenchantment of art. New York: Thames and Hudson. Grumet, M. R. (1998). B i t t e r m i l k , women and teaching. Amherst, Mass.: The University of Massachusetts Press. Hall , S. (2002).' Deconstructing the popular. In S. Duncombe(Ed.). Cultural Resistance Reader (pp.185-192) . London, England: Verso, hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge. Jacob, M. J. (1996). Conversations at the c a s t l e . Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Kinder, A. (1999). From endpoints to repertoires: A challenge to art education. Studies in Art Education, 40(4), 330-349. Krug, D. H. (2002). Teaching art i n the context of everyday l i f e . In Yvonne Gaudelius & Peg Speirs (Eds.). Contemporary Issues in Art Education. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice H a l l . Krug. D. H. (Ed.). (1996). Art and ecology: I n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y approaches to the curriculum. O.P. Getty Foundation, The Getty Center for the Arts i n Education. Santa Monica, C a l i f o r n i a . [Url:http://www.getty.edu/artsednet/resources/Ecology] Krug, D. H. & Neperud, R. W. (1995). People who make things: Aesthetics from the ground up. In R. W. Neperud (Ed.). Context Content And Community In Art Education Beyond Postmodernism. Columbia University, New York: Teachers College Press. Lacy, S. (Ed.). (1995). Mapping the t e r r a i n . New genre public art. Seattle, Washington: Bay Press LaChappelle, J.R. (1991). In the night studio: the professional a r t i s t as an educational role model. Art Education, 32(3), 160-170. Laurence, R. (2001). Witnessing community art practice. In Connections 4 A r t i s t s ' Projects, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey B r i t i s h Columbia: National Library of Canada. L i l l a r d , P. (1980). Montessori in the classroom. New York: Schocken Books. Lippard, L. R. (1997). The lure of the l o c a l . New York: The New Press. McCutcheon, G. (1995). Developing the curriculum: Solo and group d e l i b e r a t i o n . London: Longman Publishers. Milner, J. (1998). Arts impact. Vancouver Cultural A l l i a n c e News. (p.4). [Retrieved October 24, 2003 from the World Wide Web: Http://www.allianceforarts.com/artcetera] Montessori, M. (1965). A montessori handbook. New York: Putnam Press. Montessori, M. (1966). The secret of childhood. New York, Random House. Neperud, R. W. (Ed.). (1995). Context Content And Community In Art Education Beyond Postmodernism. Columbia University, New York: Teachers College Press. Oxford English Dictionary (2 n d ed.). (1989). Oxford University Press. Putnam, R.B. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster. Rogoff, I. (2003). Home and away conference. October 25, Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia, [personal communication.] Rose, P. (1996). They and we: Racial and ethnic r e l a t i o n s in the united states. (5th Ed i t i o n ) . Columbus, Ohio: McGraw-Hill. Seidman, I. (1998). Interviewing as q u a l i t a t i v e research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. New York and London: Teachers College, Columbia University. Shields, C. & Anderson, M. (Eds.). (2001). Dropped threads what we aren't told. Toronto: Vintage Press. Stuhr, P.L., Krug, D.H. & Scott, A.P. (1995). P a r t i a l tales of three translators: An essay. Studies in Art Education : A Journal of Issues and Research in Art Education, 37, (1), 29-46. Sumara, D. J. (1996). Private readings in public. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. Willinsky, J. (1990). The new l i t e r a c y : Redefining reading and w r i t i n g in the schools. New York: Routledge. Wilson Kind, S. (in press). Windows to a c h i l d ' s world: Perspectives on children's art making. University of B r i t i s h Columbia: Vancouver, B.C. Appendix Interview Questions: Students 1) Identify the ways i n which you think the t i l e i n s t a l l a t i o n has changed the appearance of the front foyer. 2) How do you think people f e e l when they walk into the front foyer now that the t i l e piece i s in s t a l l e d ? 3) When you look at the completed mural now, what stories are you reminded of? 4) What do you think about your contribution to t h i s collaborative piece, now that you have walk by i t d a i l y for the past 6 months? 5) Would you want to do a project l i k e t h i s again? Why or why not? 6) Did you t e l l anybody about t h i s project? Who? 7) What did you learn about your s e l f by looking at your c u l t u r a l heritage? What did you learn about your friends? 8) How do you f e e l when you walk into the school and see thi s project? Interview Questions: Parents 1) In what ways do you think the t i l e project has affected the school community? 2) How do you f e e l when you walk into the school and see the mural? 3) What meanings does t h i s project have for you personally? 4 ) How do you think t h i s experience affected the student (your child) who participated by contributing to t h i s legacy piece? 5) Describe what you think the student (your child) learnt from t h i s inquiry and experience. 6) Did your c h i l d t a l k about t h i s project at home with you while they were creating i t ? In what ways? In addition for teachers: 6) Do you plan on doing anything t h i s year to introduce the piece to your students? 7) Could i t become a part of your curriculum? Why or why not? The community elementary School: Demographics Home Languages Cambodian 1 Chinese 180 Croatian 5 English 280 French 5 German 3 Greek 5 Hindi 7 Hungarian 1 I t a l i a n 8 Japanese 1 Kurdish 1 Other African 1 P i l i p i n o 3 Polish 3 Punjabi 1 Romanian 3 Russian 1 Spanish 22 Swahili 1 Tagalog 10 Thagaloo 1 Urdu 1 Vietnamese 4 9 The community elementary School: B i r t h Country Canada 505 Ecuador 1 F i j i 1 Guatemala 3 Honduras 1 Hungary 1 Japan 1 Mexico 1 Philippine 12 Romania 3 St. Vincent 1 Uganda 1 U.S.A. 1 Yugoslavia 1 China 32 E l Salvador 3 Greece 1 H a i t i 1 Hong Kong 10 Iran 1 Malaysia 1 West Indies 1 Poland 1 Russia 1 Thailand 1 United Kingdom 1 Viet Nam 

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