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# Title Semester Author Description Access Restrictions
1 Racing Culture: Exploring Race, Inclusion and Equity in Arts Institutions 2016 Spring Blocker, Ryan; Iglesias, Raquel The construct of race has always been one of the most powerful social organizing forces in the United States. Historically, it has taken...
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The construct of race has always been one of the most powerful social organizing forces in the United States. Historically, it has taken the form of cultural division and economic deprivation at the expense of people of color along with deference to white and European people and their cultural products. In conventional cultural institutions, it has meant the underrepresentation of people of color as artists, audiences, and decision makers. Although there have been a number of interventions in this history, arts institutions are largely not racially equitable spaces. However, in the current moment, many more arts professionals and philanthropic organizations are eagerly investigating ways to change that. For this research, we have explored the ways in which cultural organizations come to develop and prioritize the work of diversity, inclusion, and equity. We have engaged race theory and the language most often used in this work--complicating terms like diversity and inclusion. Perhaps most importantly, we have sought to understand how language informs and relates to practice and the implementation of policies and programs. By examining the external forces that often shape the context and efficacy of racial equity work in practice, and the internal institutional structures and philosophies that facilitate and/or inhibit racial equity, this project has raised complications to the language and practice most often used in racial equity work, as well as examined the discussion surrounding racial diversity within the cultural sector for the last two decades.
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2 Ideation: Channeling Arts Thinking Through Embodied Hybrid Practices 2016 Spring Owen, Emily Arts thinking is the core to creativity, the question of how that rarely gets asked; not the how you're thinking of (how to play a C...
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Arts thinking is the core to creativity, the question of how that rarely gets asked; not the how you're thinking of (how to play a C chord? how was this mark made?), but the how one came up with the idea in the first place (How do you know what sounds good? How did you decide what to paint?). Studying arts thinking can show how the creative processes employed by artists, designers, and musicians can provide a window into the development of ideas and problem solving through an embodied practice. This thesis investigates the ways artists think and solve problems creatively and tests examples of the ways arts thinking can be used as a strategy to bring innovation, diverse methods, and change-making to a broad range of projects and contexts. Using my artistic background as a frame, I will use a collage of case studies, written analysis, phenomenological narrative, and collaborative meaning making projects to show a bracketed example of arts thinking. I am leading the thesis with two projects: first, I am collaborating with the urban planning group Congress for the New Urbanism to re-imagine the traditional charrette-style design process using an arts thinking lens. Secondly and mainly, I am developing and conducting what I call action interviews to find and explore diverse hybrid artist practices and identify underlying methodologies. The goal of these action interviews will be to integrate greatly varying artistic processes and performance into the conversation itself so that I can build a bridge between these artistic methods and implications for their use outside of art-making, linking ideas and language with material and processes. The outcomes of this thesis are integrated with an exhibition and a website that will translate and share these materials with others.
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3 (Unknowingly Not) Islands: Independent Artists, Record Labels, & the Colonized Mind 2016 Spring Mehlan, Matthew What happened to the American music underground? For many years, so-called independent and experimental record labels have represented a...
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What happened to the American music underground? For many years, so-called independent and experimental record labels have represented a means of access to audience, exposure, legitimacy, and support for artists; as well as a community for fans, record collectors, and artists themselves. Outside of the mainstream channels of distribution, marketing, and promotion, these labels run by artists, enthusiasts, outsider entrepreneurs, and non-profit orgs- also cultivated an economic alternative: an ecosystem of shops, distributors, zines, web publications, and venues across the globe, with a shared value system of non-commercial, democratic, punk (attitudinally) DIY-ism. More recently, however, systems of music distribution have become centralized via tech meta-businesses, and the methods by which people consume music shift constantly with new technologies. Artists are confronted with a blurring of the artist, consumer, and the entrepreneur in a noisy and over-saturated market, where distribution models create value for the platforms and manufacturers of personal technologies but pay pennies to the music makers. Artists often end up working against their own interests, with a hazy understanding of their options. In this thesis I look critically at the record label model, music distribution systems and platforms, and the ubiquity of certain technologies. I will discuss the results of an artist survey I administered, and place this study in the context of my experiences as an artist- as well as recent writings by Gerald Raunig, Martha Rosier, and others. The goal of this thesis is to make visible the conditioning that frequently dictates how artists participate in the music industry, and to propose potential alternative thinking - and doing - inside the industry. Who today holds the power to build community and legitimacy? What kind of support do musicians desire or require?
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4 Collective Intelligence In Spontaneous Urban Park Interventions 2014 Summer Heen, Xiaohe Liu This thesis will examine solutions to the problem of vacant and underutilized urban space, which many cities around the world, especially...
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This thesis will examine solutions to the problem of vacant and underutilized urban space, which many cities around the world, especially in the US, have been facing. It requires immediate attention and sustainable solutions. This issue has been addressed by community agencies though what have been termed "Spontaneous Interventions." The short-term intervention, PARK(ing) Day, started in San Francisco in 2005 and has since become a global phenomenon. The long-term intervention, the New York City High Line, has had widespread influence as well. The PARK(ing) Day and the High Line projects began as spontaneous urban park interventions that represent the way social interactions emerge in the complex system of the city. These kinds of interventions use a collective approach to tackling a shared problem that is more powerful than the approach any one party might have developed individually. This may be called Collective Intelligence.
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5 Beyond the Scavenger Hunt: Remixing Interpretive Tools as Advocacy for Adolescent Museum Visitors 2014 Summer Reyes, Gretchen Annika A fundamental change that art museums today have been noticing is the encouragement of audiences to actively shape their own self...
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A fundamental change that art museums today have been noticing is the encouragement of audiences to actively shape their own self-directed experiences. This corresponds to what young visitors increasingly identify as one of their prime needs and expectations of being in a museum. Extending out of an interest to provide a 'self-guide' for adolescent audiences visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, this thesis seeks to devise an approach that critically involves the visitor in the development process of designing 'interpretive tools' for use inside the galleries. It advocates for a push beyond the boundaries of what default approaches to young museum visitor engagement looks like- such as the all-too-familiar use of 'scavenger hunts'. For this study, several groups of teens were prompted to assess the AICs existing multimedia tools, which consequently inspired their own low-fidelity designs for teen-centered interpretives. In an effort towards conceptualizing how new tools can ignite unique visitor experiences, this study is guided by the following questions: What types of interpretive tools do adolescent visitors respond to and are intrigued by in the museum space? How may one rethink strategies for how museum practitioners can effectively develop, support, and sustain a process for designing these tools? This study also includes a look at the capabilities digital interactives can bring into the practice of interpretation as ideas of how visitors learn and engage best continues to evolve.
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6 Following the Crowd: Understanding Donors Through Virtual Fundraising 2014 Spring Smith, Jasmyn Grace The exponential growth of online donations and use of social media in the past several years has revealed an innovative platform for...
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The exponential growth of online donations and use of social media in the past several years has revealed an innovative platform for artists seeking funding. No longer must one rely on the established financial resources of foundation grants and government funding and recent history has proven that those options are not as reliable as they may have been several years ago. This thesis examines the emergence of crowdfunding 1 as a successful option to finance project-based work. It provides a summary of crowdfunding's history and characteristics and details how the website, Kickstarter operates. It then compiles the theories that illustrate the structure of crowdfunding including networking theory, project creator accountability and platform sustainability and the effect of geography on funding decisions. It then provides an overview of the current state of crowdfunding and documents the success of the website Kickstarter specifically. The thesis then analyzes the financial support, gained on Kickstarter, of dance projects from a broad array of organization types in three Midwestern cities -- Chicago, IL; Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN; and Columbus, OH -- providing a process to identify patterns of donor engagement. This study aims to highlight aspects that are necessary in cultivating longstanding relationships with donors on crowdfunding platforms. This thesis hopes to inform further study of virtual donor engagement and retention. 1 Wikipedia defines "crowdfunding" as "the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the Internet." Wikipedia acknowledges that there are three actors involved in the crowdfunding relationship: the initiator who proposes the idea or project, the individual or group who support the proposal, and the platform that brings them together. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdfunding
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7 Defining Quality: Strategic Assessment Methods for Arts Partnerships in Education 2014 Fall Groot, Jennifer C. To counteract fundamental educational reforms and shifts in national economic policy that severely reduced the availability of arts...
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To counteract fundamental educational reforms and shifts in national economic policy that severely reduced the availability of arts education, public schools have since the late 1980s increasingly relied on external providers, to supplement or complement their arts programming. This thesis will discuss Chicago's and Boston's arts education plans that outline methods for further expanding arts education in schools through partnerships. Integral to activating the plans are recently established external supporting agencies that work in direct collaboration with the public school districts to implement collaboration strategies: EdVestors in Boston, and Ingenuity Incorporated in Chicago. My thesis research will suggest qualitative and quantitative strategies for analytically assessing the quality of partnerships through a variety of proposed filters, with a special focus on directly addressing CPS goals for capacity building in the arts.
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8 The Division Street Project 2014 Fall Swinney, Brett The Division Street Project is a multi-year, multi-media public art project that uses photography, recorded interviews and a web...
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The Division Street Project is a multi-year, multi-media public art project that uses photography, recorded interviews and a web application to capture the stories of Chicagoans living along several blocks of Division Street, running east and west just north of the center of Chicago. Division Street traverses a number of vastly different neighborhoods, making it home to multiple population groups, income ranges, ethnicities and educational backgrounds while serving as a major thoroughfare through the area. The Division Street Project strives to capture moments and voices along the street that Studs Terkel had connected with its name on a metaphorical level, in his seminal work, Division Street: America. Terkel collected interviews from people from all over the city, seemingly alluding to difference and separation rather than the proverbial melting pot in his title. The Division Street Project is taking the literal approach of focusing on the actual street. Division Street is an important street to document because it cuts across all social, economic, racial and cultural boundaries creating the opportunity to see a broad example of the wealth of human experience that is found in Chicago. The project aims to provide an opportunity to explore Division Street's rich history guided through the personal anecdotes of its residents while offering a dynamic way to explore a public space.
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9 A Work in Progress: Looking Closely at Change 2015 Summer Moss, Jessica Gaynelle A Work In Progress: Looking Closely at Change is comprised of a written document, a digital anthology (including music samples,...
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A Work In Progress: Looking Closely at Change is comprised of a written document, a digital anthology (including music samples, experimental sound projects based on recorded interviews, thematic illustrations and concept maps), as well as a proposal for a community-based interactive installation. This developing, emergent project analyzes the notion of change in regard to the fundamental rights of the black community in the U.S. since the Civil Rights movement. By investigating progress and digressions, and including discourse around issues of representation, themes of accessibility, disenfranchisement, tokenism, degradation of self worth and value, this document provides an array of ethnographic evidence and demands that its reader play an active role in moving beyond racialized oppression in the US. Calling upon ways of unlearning, rethinking, creating and sustaining change through the framework of cultural engagement, these conversations or 'vignettes' function as windows into an even bigger dialogue about racialized injustices and the role of the arts as a vehicle for change. By including the personal accounts and experiences of colleagues and professionals involved in the arts and culture, I aim to elicit strategies for facilitating radical change within the creative and cultural sector. This is a call to arms. Only by reconciling differences, soliciting open dialogue and taking part in actively challenging the unhelpful rhetoric about these issues will the United States be able to move forward, beyond oppression, in an inclusive manner.
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10 Rethinking Radio: Storytelling as Civic Activism 2014 Spring Lentz, Stephanie; Mallard, Tocarra This thesis is in support of "Stories from Gary," a project wherein the coauthors recorded events, interviews and conversations with...
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This thesis is in support of "Stories from Gary," a project wherein the coauthors recorded events, interviews and conversations with community members of Gary, IN, between July 2013 and April 2014. The project's objectives were to create an oral history collection for the city's archives and continued use, and to collect material for a podcast, to be edited and produced by the co-authors and distributed online during the summer of 2014. The broader project goals were (a) to explore the factors and variables present in crafting an episodic series of audio stories with digital tools and audio sharing websites, (b) to contribute to community development efforts in the City of Gary as members of the student formed non-profit organization, Creative Initiatives for the Public Space (CIPS), and (c) to investigate the role that storytelling plays in the political and community identity of a place. The thesis reviews theories of sound, listening, narrative and community development that informed the methodology over the course of the project. It also addresses the current project timeline, and compares outcomes to initial predictions and intentions.
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11 "Not Unique, Powerful, Competitive": Advocacy and Obstacles in Feminist Arts Administration 2015 Summer Breitenbach, Kristen Circa 2007/08, "feminism" re-emerged as a hot topic among art institutions. It was likewise propelled in popular culture through...
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Circa 2007/08, "feminism" re-emerged as a hot topic among art institutions. It was likewise propelled in popular culture through discussions in then-burgeoning social media networks, and the founding of several popular women-focused websites. This renewal of interest has not only garnered more attention of feminist artists and projects, but it has also both expanded and rebuted the definitions of this movement. Feminist artists and art organizations have existed throughout the 20th century, beginning even before the 1970s second-wave feminist art movement. With the existence of many different types of feminisms and art entities, old and new, the landscape and advocacy of this movement can seem arduous and incoherent to some. The title of this thesis takes its name from an unused proposed mission statement for A.I.R. Gallery, a long acknowledged feminist art stakeholder. While A.I.R. may want to be powerful or competitive, their feminist advocacy would be a success if they were not unique. As feminism enjoys a revived appeal in the arts, A.I.R.'s feminist advocacy is less unique. Does this render them unneeded? Today, how do artists and arts administrators advocate for feminism, while grappling with its constant changes, discrepancies, and fluctuations in appeal? Two prominent interests surrounding feminist advocacy in the arts, funding systems and inclusion, will provide the themes of exploring several case studies in this thesis. This thesis will explore the obstacles and challenges these case study organizations face, while acknowledging that such issues are always changing, never simple to answer, and speak to a unique moment in time. Or rather, a not unique moment?
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12 Liminal Spaces: Developing Platforms of Discourse for Artists, Scientists, and the Public 2015 Summer Schmider, Beatrice Over the past decade there has been a rise in the number of galleries, artworks, and projects that exist within the ArtSci genre. Tied to...
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Over the past decade there has been a rise in the number of galleries, artworks, and projects that exist within the ArtSci genre. Tied to a growing number of interdisciplinary practices within higher education as well as technological developments, these advancements have facilitated the creation of spaces that give equal agency to both art and science. Hybrid in nature -- neither art museums nor science museums -- these unconventional organizations occupy the liminal space between art and science. The Science Gallery in Dublin, the Wellcome Collection in London, and Le Laboratoire Cambridge in Massachusetts are pivotal organizations contributing to the ArtSci genre. An examination of these spaces will be used to identify elements that are central to the production of ArtSci programming, which uses the generative tension of these seemingly disparate fields to provide a platform for discourse between artists, scientists, and the public. The findings will be used to generate an ideal framework for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Art and Technology program, the recommendations for which will incorporate tools to be adapted and utilized by administrators of similar ArtSci initiatives.
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13 Cardinal Loop Conference Proposal: A Commitment to Contemporary Cultural Conversation in Chicago 2015 Fall Tchochiev, Alda Akhsar Increased mobility and mass immigration during the two decades on each side of the millennium have dramatically changed our society and...
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Increased mobility and mass immigration during the two decades on each side of the millennium have dramatically changed our society and understanding of contemporary culture. Giving rise to my project's title, the cardinal designations of East and West faltered under the volume of the Fourth Wave of Eastern and Central European immigrants, whose presence exponentially grew the diaspora community in what some now call the former West. While European arts managers have increased programming to address the implications of this societal change on the fabric of contemporary culture, those in the United States have seemed largely unresponsive. In this thesis-- drawing on contemporary literature as well as my personal experience as a member of this diaspora --I hypothesize that this lack of relevant programming in the U.S. is due to a rift between the stakeholders in this area of inquiry and the diaspora community-namely the artists, arts administrators, researchers, and immigrants. Stemming from the desire to bring these players into a sustained and open conversation, I develop a proposal for a year long, multi-event conference that is rooted in the performative mode of discursive art practice. This paper outlines the art historical context, research methodology, theoretical and practical foundations, and central tenets in conceptualization/preparation of this conference: Cardinal Loop.
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14 Examining the Contemporary Performance Art Festival: An Analog Conference Between Festival Administrators 2015 Fall Gambino, Giana My thesis serves as a two-fold examination of both the contemporary discourse surrounding performance art, and specific interviews with...
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My thesis serves as a two-fold examination of both the contemporary discourse surrounding performance art, and specific interviews with notable contributors to the current performance art festival phenomena to examine what is actually happening in the field right now. I analyze the discourse surrounding performance art, in specific regard to festivals, which I view as a fundamental platform of expression within its history and as pioneers of future development. As performance art gains more recognition around the world as a contemporary art method, it is important to think about how the discipline is being positioned. Is performance art establishing itself as an integral and historically significant practice within the Visual Arts tradition? If so, why is there still a large void and lack of exposure on what is actually happening in the field? Festivals serve as a way to celebrate, promote, and create a space of exchange between ephemeral action-based artists, to share each other's thoughts, ideas, and practices. However, their significance goes beyond just that, I stress the importance of the actual 'experience' and the impact that these events have on cities, participants and audiences, and especially upon an understanding of the art. With a first-hand approach to research, I have conducted interviews with notable festival directors, curators, organizers and performance artists, to discuss critical issues behind performance art and performance art festivals. I have created an analog conference to: 1) Foster a larger understanding of Performance Art; 2) Discuss administrative issues specific to organizing performance art festivals; 3) Strategize ways in which we can build visibility and promote festivals; 4) Organize ways in which we can work together to form a network and utilize shared resources or connections. My research points out very clearly how creating infrastructure around the development and vast proliferation of performance art festivals around the globe is a necessity. I suggest that in order to foster, effect, or infiltrate any sort of discourse, contemporary performance art organizers, promoters and artists, need to be equipped with a specific set of administrative skills.
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15 Fashionable Performance & Performative Fashion: Creating Social Nerve, Cultural Influence, whilst Reconstructing Fashioned Convention 2015 Fall Lin, Daniel Y. Fashion shows have been traditionally perceived as situated within commercial and popular culture yet they are increasingly presented as...
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Fashion shows have been traditionally perceived as situated within commercial and popular culture yet they are increasingly presented as artistic, performative events. Since the 1960s, due to the democratization of both fashion and the art world, this phenomenon has not only radically transformed fashion presentations, but also impacted the culture, blurring the borderlines between the two worlds. Thus, fashion shows have developed as a fully-fledged living art form which is in charge of constructing an aura, projecting specific concepts, sensations and messages to the audience as well as expressing critical ideas, including social and political issues. Both producers and consumers in the fashion and art worlds are implicated in these developments, which have happened on runways and within society. By examining the conceptual and performative qualities of fashion show productions, this research maps a cohesive outline of this hybrid theme. Highlighting the historical backgrounds of the phenomenon and analyzing the underlying messages of selected cases of fashion shows, this thesis not only aims to further establish fashion as an academic research subject, but also serves as a reference for people to re-evaluate fashion shows from a cultural aspect that has been framed by concepts, commerce and identity in the postmodern age.
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16 Chances Within Challenges: The Role of Non-State-Owned Art Museums in China 2015 Spring Tan, Fangying (Elaine) A museum building boom in China began in early 2000 and quickly developed in the following years. Similar to typical Western institutions...
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A museum building boom in China began in early 2000 and quickly developed in the following years. Similar to typical Western institutions, many of those new museums designate themselves as private, non-profit organizations, despite the absence of this category in Chinese tax constructs. As these museums are facing challenges, this research-based thesis aims to categorize Chinese art museums that are not owned and operated by the government, to understand which roles they play in the contemporary Chinese art world and to analyze the ways they are taking to deal with in the circumstances that both cultural and political scenes are rapidly changing in China. My research resource includes literature, interviews and relevant case studies, and what I want to figure out is the difficulties these non-state owned art museums are facing and what kind of methods they are taking to solve the problems. Since many of them are taking experience from the successfully-run western private art museums, setting up board committee, inviting art professionals as academic advisors and seeking for private donations to sustain the museums, I'd like to see whether transplanting western models will work in China as well.
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17 Modeling the Education of Arts Entrepreneurs on Incubators - A Proposal 2015 Summer McNair, Anne A. As a shifting economy demands new practices, entrepreneurs design and implement new ventures. With shifts in cultural economies, the...
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As a shifting economy demands new practices, entrepreneurs design and implement new ventures. With shifts in cultural economies, the exploration of new practices in the arts is desirable. This thesis posits a need for arts entrepreneurship. To become arts entrepreneurs, students benefit from opportunities to experiment with new ways of forming and running organizations. In incubator environments, students and faculty can come together to address real-world problems, prototype new organizations, projects and enterprises. Through examples of arts organizations that implement aspects of incubators and universities that teach aspects of entrepreneurship, this thesis discusses advantages and challenges of incubator style experiential learning for arts administrators.
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18 Declarative International Policy and Contemporary Customary Representational Aestheticism 2015 Fall Garza, Benjamin J. "I want to be clear: what matters far more than words, what matters far more than any resolution or declaration, are actions to match...
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"I want to be clear: what matters far more than words, what matters far more than any resolution or declaration, are actions to match those words." United States President Barack Obama, December 16, 2010 The proceeding series of five contextual case studies express independent contextual studies in the consideration of contemporary Indigenous cultural heritage(s) arts practices; structured under the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and relational international human rights and cultural policy; in that cultural heritage(s) arts are animate intrinsic structures of continuity inherent to Indigenous human rights as indivisible attributions inherent to the meaningful actualization of equitable human rights of all peoples. The series of studies express independent consideration of customary and contemporary Indigenous cultural heritage(s) arts practices; structured under the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights in accordance with each nation's Indigenous domestic policy, in that cultural heritage(s) arts are animate intrinsic structures of continuity inherent to Indigenous human rights as indivisible attributions. The series of case studies contained therein engages five national context studies comprised of United Nations General Assembly member states in the governance of Indigenous peoples (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States) with inclusion to the Nation of South Africa as a United Nations member state non-signatory to both the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Assessment is provided through relational dialogues pertaining to each contextual study as an independent series of referential ideological and/or cultural embodiment regarding the disposition of national and international human rights and Indigenous cultural policy guided under the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in concert with the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as primary policy precedence as interpreted through visual arts media. Article 27 2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. -United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 Mediation through cultural heritage(s) arts forms are expressly evoked to articulate embodiments of reciprocally tangible and intangible aspects of cultural heritage(s) in representational aesthetic cultural heritage(s) within applicable parameters of international Indigenous cultural policies .
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19 Designing a Non-Profit Fundraising Game 2013 Spring Chang, Jeanelle Sora This project thesis will examine my process of creating a game about fundraising to engage and to enthuse emerging administrative...
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This project thesis will examine my process of creating a game about fundraising to engage and to enthuse emerging administrative professionals in small to mid-size nonprofit organizations. Having had a deep professional involvement with fundraising for over six years, I have observed many times how the idea of fundraising perplexes some people. This observation has brought me to ask whether a method exists to create an accessible platform inviting people to engage in the opportunities and problems that fundraising presents. In addition to traditional modes of learning, I am curious how other learning forms can be explored that are both practical and experiential. Through this game design project I will engage practical research approaches to better understand how games might promote new conversations about fundraising. The research looks towards the discipline of game design as a way to understand how a meaningful and relevant game structure might be developed. Utilizing the playcentric design process where the game designer places focus on player involvement, I will prototype and playtest my way ultimately to create a game called DEVO Dice. The goal of my game research is to provide emerging administrative professionals with a vehicle to express their interests, and to identify how they access information in order to ascertain the type of knowledge they want to gain about fundraising.
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20 Casa Familiar: Mi Pueblo Through the Lens of Socially Engaged Art 2013 Spring Trejo, Laura P. This thesis paper attempts to traverse the landscape of socially engaged art in an effort to come up with a new definition that...
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This thesis paper attempts to traverse the landscape of socially engaged art in an effort to come up with a new definition that challenges existing expectations of the practice. A new definition can provide an opportunity to expand the practice and allow it to make a greater impact within the community that it takes place in. Many terms are used interchangeably to address projects that fall within the realm of this practice, but practitioners or critics do not agree upon the terms. As a way of discussing this terminology, I will look at a variety of projects, examining their process more than their end product. One project in particular, Mi Pueblo, will be the main case study of this paper. Mi Pueblo: Living Rooms at the Border and Senior Housing with Childcare is a project, yet to reach completion, that has been designed through a collaboration between the not for profit organization Casa Familiar, Southern California based architect Teddy Cruz, and the community members of San Ysidro. Each partner brings their own expertise, from a community development agency to an architect that studies the bi-national population being served by this project, and a community that is actively engaging in their own community development efforts. The joining of these different partners has resulted in a low-income housing plan that addresses the specific needs of the San Ysidro community, while also providing multi-use and shared spaces that allow for entrepreneurial opportunities for residents. Through an asset based community development approach, Casa Familiar is attempting to serve its community while also taking risks, in an effort to make a more meaningful impact. This thesis will be an investigation not only of the project, but also into the relationship between these collaborators, as a way to explore a more expansive definition of socially engaged art, creatively addressing a need while making an impact, in a purposeful way.
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