During July of 2014 I will present an introductory course of art history to 23 inmates of the Female Center for Social Readaptation (CERESOFE), in Merida, on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Mrs. Elisa Choza, Director of CERESOFE, personally invited me to present this month-long course. The mission of this project is to expose inmates to art history in order to stimulate their critical thinking skills and develop visual literacy, exposing them to issues of artistic and cultural representation, so they can inspire others in turn to explore creative outlets through art appreciation in their communities. This project strives to make art come to life, sharing a message that is both edifying and enjoyable. Indirectly, this project will stimulate participants and those they come in contact with to think broadly and creatively about art and the humanities and the impact these disciplines can have on communities at large. Learning about questions of art and representation, and how these connect to our lives, it will make a difference especially to those who are underprivileged or excluded, one person at a time. Education transforms lives, and the education of those who face greater limitations is particularly important. This project aims to encourage women to use their abilities and share in the importance of education, one person and one idea at a time.
Risks and challenges
Because sharing a little of the blessings and opportunities I have had is one of the main reasons that fueled the inspiration for this project, one of the challenges I may face is not being able to reach out to as many people as I would like to this is mainly because I represent this project as an individual and not an organization. However I am ready to share this story with the community in Merida via radio and local newspaper, visiting schools and hoping to engage young adults into ways of getting involved in their communities.
Another challenge involves assembling a way in which to compile and document the entire experience, so as to be able to communicate the journey from start to finish, specially to younger audiences, students and members of my community.
Working with the inmates will be a challenge, for I will be working with a completely new kind of audience, in a different environment than that of a classroom. I have pushed myself into being in front of a class, teaching a college intro course to a group of freshmen, leading creative projects at a museum and teaching Spanish to children at an elementary. However working with the inmates it is a challenge that will push me to dare to go beyond, and share my experience with others to keep searching for ways in which to help others and take risks, responsibly and learn from them.
- (33 days)