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Wednesday, April 26 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Arts, People, And Empowerment: The Labor And Love Of Open Hearts Art Center

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“Arts, People, and Empowerment: The Labor and Love of Open Hearts Art Center” is an ethnographic field study of Open Hearts Art Center, a nonprofit organization for adults with disabilities in Asheville, North Carolina. Extending from the Fall of 2016 into the late Spring of 2017 this project was inspired and graciously funded by the Fernandes-Friedenberg Award. Methodologically centered on participant observation and interviews, this ethnography explores the cultural structure of this arts-based program through temporal and spatial lenses. In addition I also examine the roles embraced by participants, the relationships between individuals, and the services provided at Open Hearts Art Center to underscore the center’s most important values. These values are (but are not limited to) the human engagement in diverse artistic modalities, the personhood of every individual, and the empowerment of people that social and medical institutions have categorized as “disabled.” The goal of this project is to give a spotlight to the creative and unique lives of the diversely-abled artists that Open Hearts Art Center serves, as well as the staff who passionately foster the exploration and expression of each artist’s identity.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 9:00am - 9:20am PDT
237 Zageir Hall