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Memo From Moore: Academic Dean Patti Phillips on Summer 2020 at Moore

Dear Moore community:

Once again it is summer at Moore, and what a summer it has been already. We have all borne witness as the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved and still continues to be devastating for many individuals, families, communities and cities, and as protests have emerged across the nation around systemic racism, injustice and conditions of policing. At a time like this, as many are deeply concerned and committed to the necessity and urgency for change—from the scale of individual hearts and minds to extensive and endemic civic and national structures—colleges and universities must continue their work while revisiting their purpose and individual missions.

Moore continues to live, express and renew its own mission as it looks to the future, and various summer programs and initiatives have launched or will proceed, even if shifted and refocused. For as we know, art is inherently contextual, always responding to and representing the human condition, especially in times of significant if not radical change. Of particular relevance for this time is Moore’s distinctive Art Education program, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of its graduate program this year. The program’s perspective on diversity, inclusion, equity and special populations has increasing purpose and impact well beyond the College. On April 2, Art Education Program Director Lauren Stichter was invited by The Kennedy Center VSA Program to present in a webinar on "Processing Together: Arts Education for Students with Disabilities during COVID-19." Over 500 attended this important and urgent convening.

Last week, the summer session of Moore’s Master of Arts in Art Education with an Emphasis on Special Populations was launched by Professor Stichter and other faculty members for eight continuing MA students and eight new graduate students. Typically a 15-month program with remote coursework in the fall and spring, bookended by two on-campus summer sessions, this summer looks different than usual, as faculty and students connect and engage with each other as an exciting (if far-flung) art, teaching and learning collaborative. A few highlights:

  • On July 15, students will meet with Liz Byron, author of Art for All: Preparing for Variability in the Visual Arts Classroom.
  • On July 23, the Philadelphia-based organization ArtReach, which supports people with disabilities and low income with equitable access to the arts, will present on strategies for creating accessible cultural arts events and spaces.
  • On August 7, four graduate students will present their theses and research they have developed and pursued in the past year. This will be followed by a remote “Zoom Commencement” for students and faculty, families and friends.

Other summer activities and programs at Moore have also shifted to accommodate these unusual times. Dr. Joanna Jenkins, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education and Professional Studies, along with her Continuing Education colleagues, will launch the first remote Summer Art & Design Institute (SADI) on July 12. Typically a residential program held for four weeks on the Moore campus, this year’s cohort of more than 30 rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from across the nation will participate in SADI through dynamic offsite courses taught by some of Moore’s most talented and accomplished faculty. The overarching goal of the remote SADI program is to prepare these young artists for continued successful high-school work and art classes, as well as potential applications and portfolio preparation for Moore and other colleges.

SADI classes will be a lively mix of creative learning experiences, and participants will learn within a range of formats, including small group discussions, demonstrations and presentations. Areas of focus will include Foundation Studio I: Drawing; Foundation Studio II: Visual Thinking & Color Theory; Animation; Illustration; Painting; and Game Design. All enrolled students are receiving fully equipped art kits for their remote summer work. A five-week remote session of the Young Artists Workshop will run concurrently with SADI, providing opportunities for shared lectures, SADI Alumni Talks, and other curated programs. And with the advent of these summer youth programs, we are delighted to announce a generous charitable gift from Dr. Marcia Taylor ’70 to create an annual Young Artists Workshop Scholarship, to support a high-impact experience in the arts at Moore for a deserving student.

As we prepare for an on-campus fall 2020, with the first day of classes on Thursday, August 20, Moore’s community demonstrates throughout each and every season its abiding commitment to art and design education for people of different ages, backgrounds and communities of learners. Through opportunities, challenges and seismic shifts in history, our College continues to uphold its mission to provide a catalytic environment for creative, intellectual and personal growth.

Best wishes for a fruitful summer,

Patti Phillips
Chief Academic Officer / Academic Dean

Published on June 29th, 2020