CAM brings contemporary art and ideas directly to Saint Louis Public High School and Middle School students through its ArtReach program. Tailored to meet the needs of individual schools and teachers, ArtReach is designed to raise awareness of contemporary issues through an exploration of contemporary art. The program includes a curriculum-based offering of museum tours, school visits, and creative workshops for students and teachers alike.
Throughout the fall 2014 semester, the ArtReach team met with fifteen art classes within Saint Louis Public Schools’ middle and high schools. Students experienced virtual tours of the Mel Chin: Rematch exhibition, on view at CAM September 5 through December 20. Chin is known for creating complex and diverse bodies of art that often reflect issues of social justice, public health, and violence. Inspired by Chin’s work, students applied concepts of social practice art to issues of concern within their own communities.
I Have a Right To… resulted from these engagements as students created posters that completed the statement. In text and image the posters express the teens’ personal values, desires, and truths as well as what they see as legal, social, and ethical freedoms guaranteed to all citizens. Topics include youth empowerment, education, policing policies, social justice, women’s rights, racial equality, LGBTQ inclusion, wage discrimination, and more.
Participating schools in I Have a Right To… include:
- Carnahan High School of the Future
- Carr Lane VPA Middle School
- Central Visual and Performing Arts High School
- Cleveland NJROTC High School
- Clyde C. Miller Career Academy
- College Preparatory High School at Madison
- Fanning Middle School
- Innovative Concept Academy
- Langston Middle School
- Long Middle School
- McKinley Classical Leadership Academy
- Metro Academic & Classical High School
- Nahed Chapman New American Academy
- Roosevelt High School
- Yeatman-Liddell College Preparatory Middle School
I Have a Right To… is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by De Andrea Nichols, Community Engagement Manager.