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Students, artist, create collaborative curriculum for MASS MoCA

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA, North Adams) often creates curriculum for K-12 teachers that is connected to their current exhibitions. This year, MASS MoCA put that power in students' hands with the Curriculum Takeover for Black Lives Matter: a youth-driven, arts-based intervention in school learning to address and rectify omissions, inconsistencies, and untruths around the history of race and racial justice in classroom settings. During the Fall of 2020, artist Shaun Leonardo worked with a select group of 14 Berkshire County youth to co-develop the curriculum intervention inspired by his series, The Breath of Empty Space, on view at MASS MoCA until December 2020. These virtual conversations, facilitated by Leonardo and MASS MoCA educator Amanda Tobin, produced a series of classroom resources designed to help students engage with stories of the past and the present that highlight both Black struggle and triumph.


In addition to undertaking independent research on Black individuals whose stories aren't typically taught in schools, the participating students developed four major project ideas and created sample projects. They also developed a camaraderie that transcends their differing backgrounds and schools.


The group will present their curricular resources and discuss their process and goals during the Curriculum Takeover Showcase on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in a presentation geared towards Berkshire area K-12 teachers. The resources, with the recorded conversation, will then be made available to teachers for use in their classrooms.


For more information:

Teachers from all grades are invited to attend the virtual presentation on December 2. Learn more here, or contact Amanda Tobin at (413) 664-4481 x8165


Image courtesy of MASS MoCA

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