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Art is a Movement

Artivism 2021 poster design.

Earlier this year, Adelphi co-debuted an interdisciplinary series that combined art and social action to engage people in transforming society. This fall, the series, Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation, restarts with several virtual and in-person events that showcase how the arts can redress inequities, reflect all voices and push society forward.

The continuation of this ongoing project will include events that address sensory safety, fundraising through theater techniques, the complexities of restorative art, socially engaged art, poetry and more. This fall’s lineup also includes international presentations and projects, including artivists from Greece, Iran, Poland, the Philippines, Ecuador, Russia, Costa Rica and France, to name a few of the represented countries. This initiative aims to generate community through multidisciplinary teamwork for a more dignified and meaningful coexistence, and to nurture confidence in taking continuous action from wherever you are by means of reciprocity.

The Artivism team includes Stephanie Lake, PhD, senior lecturer and director of the criminal justice program in the Department of Sociology; Argie Agelarakis, MA ’00, adjunct faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences; Carolina Cambronero Varela ’09, Adelphi alumna; with support from Margaret Lally ’82, associate dean of faculty programs. Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation is sponsored by Adelphi University; Jennifer Govan, library director and senior librarian, Gottesman Library, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Sing for Hope.

“This fall, our presenters are from all over the world, providing a more global perspective of Artivism and social change initiatives,” Agelarakis said. “We now have a European liaison, Irini Ampoumogli, who will also be serving as a presenter in the spring semester.”

Dr. Lake added, “We are looking forward to another fruitful experience with the student ambassador program, wherein Adelphi students and other young people meet and exchange ideas with an artivist, present their own socially transformative creative work at the event and introduce the main speaker. Last spring, students from studio art, music, dance, criminal justice, psychology, communications and sociology served as student ambassadors, some parlaying their experience into internships with their respective organizations!”

Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation is possible thanks to the enthusiasm, kindness and good will of the collaborators and sponsors. As Cambronero Varela puts it, “Trust engenders opportunities; and opportunity begets a more dignified coexistence.”

The fall series kicked off in September with Sensory Safety in an Art Museum, a talk introducing the concept of sensory safety for museum inclusion, and Theatre as a Tool for Social Change Fundraising, a workshop offering new ways to integrate art into fundraising.

Some of the other events from the rest of the fall series will include:

Artivism Roundtable: Fall Arts Festival, Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Artivists will discuss current projects and engage the audience through thought-provoking topics that inspire action toward social change via the arts.

Movement Matters, Monday, October 25, 2021, 6:00 p.m.: This event follows the trajectory of a dancer’s life in New York City. Paz Tanjuaquio discusses her artistic path as a dancer, choreographer and performer that led to creating the nonprofit arts organization TOPAZ ARTS, Inc.

The Classroom at the Intersection of Art, History and Social Justice, Monday, November 15, 2021, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Art Jones, award-winning filmmaker, will discuss the making of a documentary featuring Professor Cristina Zaccarini, PhD’s Mindfulness and the Study of History class, as both artistic work and amplifier of social justice action.

From Vortex to Peace: Poetry as a Pathway of Resistance, Monday, December 13, 2021, 4:30 p.m.: In this presentation, Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, PhD, associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, will discuss the writing of two full-length books of poetry as a way to deal with pain and joy and a journey to self-love, and affirm her love of equity and her ancestors’ legacy.

To learn more about Artivism and the upcoming events, visit adelphi.edu/artivism.

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