Engaging children with artists who look like them, have similar experiences, and come from similar backgrounds is a great source of inspiration and empowerment. By reflecting their own identities, experiences and motivations (mirrors) and also providing insight into the identities, experiences and motivations of others (windows) can move students toward more nuanced perceptions of the world around them (sliding glass doors).* Discover new BIPOC artists to add to your curriculum.
*Source: By Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University. "Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors"
Artists have many layered identities and art educators need to present them as such.
Representing diverse artists in your curriculum is only part of an Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist curriculum. It needs to be more than a symbolic effort and art educators need to take into account intersectionality when introducing these artists to students. How do aspects of an artists’ social and political identities (ex. gender, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, ability, physical appearance, etc.) intersect within their work?
In addition, we recognize that race is socially constructed and it is impossible to put humans in clearly defined categories by race. Racial identity is deeply personal, and artists within any given subgroup define themselves differently. Race, ethnicity, and nationality are all factors artist's individually consider as their personal identity. However, as mentioned previously that is not all that there is to their identity. We know that artists have many layered identities and art educators need to do the research to present them as such.
Asian: a native or inhabitant of Asia, or a person of Asian descent.
BIPOC: Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
Black: of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin or ancestry originating in Africa.
Ethnicity: a group of people who identify with one another with similarities such as history, culture, language, ancestry, etc.
Indigenous: ethnic groups who are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently.
Intersectionality: combining both social and political identifiers to create new types of discrimination and privilege. The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage; a theoretical approach based on such a premise.
LatinX: a person of Latin origin or descent.
Middle Eastern: a person of Middle Eastern origin or descent.
Multiethnic: of two or more ethnicities.
Multiracial: of two or more races.
Nationality: the status of belonging to a particular nation.
NBIPOC: Non-Black Indigenous People of Color.
North African: Peoples with origins based in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Western Sahara belonging to a particular nation.
Pacific Islander, or Pasifika, are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. It is a geographic and ethnic/racial term to describe the inhabitants and diaspora of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania. It is not used to describe non-indigenous inhabitants of the Pacific islands.
Person of color: a person who is not white or of European parentage.
Race: a group of people who share cultural elements such as language, history, etc.
South Asian: a person of origin or descent from Southern Asia.
South East Asian: a person of origin or descent from the South Eastern part of Asia.
Contact: Alyssapassmore@smsd.org or @passmorespalette
"Start with living artists, culture is alive and changing. It is important to not give students the impression that culture is something of the past or something other people have. We all come from a cultural context. I find it helpful to do Cross-Cultural comparisons and also to connect directly with my student population first, give them a voice. Avoid assignments that direct students to recreate cultural artifacts, sacred, or ceremonial cultural patrimony. Many traditional cultural art forms are made by cultural makers who have specific respect or initiations from their communities that give the permission to make these art forms. For example, children from The Hopi nation do not make kachina dolls therefore it would be wrong to ask other students to make them." - Lori Santos