Illuminations of Social Imaginations is a must read for anyone looking to create connections between the arts and Maxine Greene’s visions of social imagination and social justice. A well-crafted collection of essays written by artists and art administrators whose works are living examples of paths to activism, advocacy and social change. I really enjoyed reading it and plan to use it in my aesthetic education classes.

 

Yolanda Medina, PhD.

Professor of Education

Borough of Manhattan Community College/City University of New York

Peter Lang Critical Studies of Latinx in the Americas, Book Series Editor

 

The concept for this book is inspired by the late Maxine Greene (2000), who described her enduring philosophical focus and legacy of social imagination as “the capacity to invent visions of what should be and what might be in our deficient society, on the streets where we live, in our schools” (p. 5). The purpose of this volume is to examine and illuminate the roles of community organizers and educators who are changing lives through public art and community arts projects. This research originally emerged from a well-attended 2018 conference presentation and exhibition at Columbia University, engaging with the local and international community of arts education and arts administration.

 

Greene (2000) reminds us that we “want our students to achieve friendship as each one stirs to wide-awareness, to imaginative action, and to renewed consciousness of possibility” (p. 43). In this spirit, our book surveys collaborative, community arts projects. This book is intended to center on contributions and collaborations of artists and educators to and with their local communities with “local knowledge . . . the immediacies of our own institution: neighborhood; surrounding streets, doors, and windows; and people on the street” (Greene, 2000, p. 68).

 

Visions from the social imagination center on a range of creative concepts in today’s society, expressed through authors’ unique, collaborative voices. Chapters focus on visual arts education, craft and wearables in communities, museum education outreach, arts education research, and community arts projects in music. The editors come from diverse backgrounds in arts education, craft, sociology, poetry, and arts administration. Coursework in art education, arts research, arts administration, and educational philosophy may be particularly suited to adopting this text.

 

Illuminations of Social Imagination

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