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Art for Social Justice Summer Art Camp

Published July 3, 2018

The Art for Social Justice Summer Art Camp, a collaboration between FSU’s Department of Art Education and Florida State University Schools (FSUS), was a success! Taking place at the FSUS during the week of June 11th to the 15th, middle or high school age campers explored issues of social justice, ranging from human to environmental rights.


The mission of the Art for Social Justice Summer Art Camp is to explore the role that the arts can play in all parts of life. Believing in the intrinsic value of art, its importance as a social good, and as a catalyst for the development of individuals, the week-long summer camp aims for participants to learn about how art can give voice to educational, social, political and cultural beliefs. The camp is not designed to push one world view over another; instead, the focus is to provide a space for young people to develop their voices through creative exploration.


This year’s Art for Social Justice Summer Art Camp was the third annual collaboration between FSUS and FSU’s Art Education masters students enrolled in Art Education Theory and Practice II. This summer, Assistant Professor of Art Education Dr. Sara Scott Shields and her students worked to develop a framework and curriculum for the Art for Social Justice Interdisciplinary Summer Camp and invited middle and high school age children to attend. The FSU masters students took the lead on the design of the camp and the actual instruction, which gave them classroom experience with kids in a low-pressure setting. Much of the content for the camp was developed in collaboration with Dr. Debi Barrett-Hayes, a veteran art educator at the Florida State University’s K-12 Charter Research School. She has taught art at a K-12 level for 35 years and is acclaimed for her work in the classroom.


During the first four days of the week, camp events took place at Dr. Barrett-Hayes’ classroom at FSUS, the last day of the camp being spent at FSU. A total 18 students from around Leon county attended. The camp featured embroidery, found object assemblage, painting, bookmaking, printmaking, mixed media collages, the creation of the second Little Free Library, and a visit to the Waging Peace Exhibition at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts. All of the artmaking was in response to social justice issues that the kids were interested in. Some topics included school violence, animal rights, LGBTQ+ rights, gender, race, and religion.


Congratulations to Dr. Scott Shields, the Art Education masters students, and Dr. Battett-Hayes for such a successful and impactful Art for Social Justice Summer Art Camp!