- Developing New Models for Art Education
| Introduction | Timeline | Teacher Workshops | Evaluation | Gallery 400 Pictures |
| MCA Symposium Info | Thanks to... |
a project of the Art Education Program,
School of Art and Design,
College of Architecture and the Arts,
University of Illinois at Chicago
in partnership with the
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools
The Contemporary Community Curriculum Initiative explores the proposition that teachers who collaboratively contextualize the making, understanding, and valuing of art within larger cultural frameworks of community, identity, agency, democratic control, and quality of everyday life, will create dynamic art curriculum that engages students in learning about art through authentically representing contemporary cultural discourses.

In the final CCC Workshop meeting, teachers reflected on how participation in the CCC had changed their teaching practices.

CCC creates change in visual art education by using the regular "coin of the realm"--art projects--as a way of exemplifying new ideas in education and art education.

Projects are not mere sets of directions given to students to create particular kinds of artworks. All art education projects encode complex ideologies about aesthetics, the conceptual and technical processes by which art is created, and the appropriate areas of art content and inquiry.

CCC Director Olivia Gude recognized that though there is much discussion in the field of art education about creating new styles of art education that are more relevant to contemporary art and culture, there are few models of what such postmodern art education would actually look like in schools. Teachers seeming reluctance to shift their teaching practices is often rooted in not being able to visualize what students would actually do or make in postmodern art curricula. Theorists in the field rarely describe actual classroom art activities and when they do, the activities are often in the disciplines of aesthetics, critical theory, or art history. There are few projects that are based on contemporary art and critical practices that are studio art (artmaking projects).
The goal of the ongoing Contemporary Community Curriculum Initiative is to develop and share innovative curriculum for middle school and high school art classrooms. Many of the projects are also relevant to elementary school and college art teaching. CCC projects are developed collaboratively by groups of art teachers, by pre-service teachers working with art education professors, and by other art professionals. CCC projects have all been developed in actual classroom settings and have been taught by real art teachers in real public and parochial school settings

The CCC Initiative is predicated on the belief that while working within the framework of existing (often less than ideal) material and technological conditions in public school art programs, the conceptual and aesthetic quality of visual art curriculum can be greatly enhanced. In CCC projects, teachers use their discipline-based knowledge to encourage students to develop their communicative capacities in visual and verbal culture. CCC teachers and students conceive of themselves, not as mere consumers of culture, but as proactive creators and shapers of contemporary life.
CCC Project Supporters:

Illinois Arts Council
Chicago Community Trust
UIC Great Cities Institute
UIC School of Art and Design
UIC College of Architecture and the Arts
CCC Director Olivia Gude
Installation view of the Who Am I Really? project, developed by art teacher Karin Heritage at Crete Monee Middle School.
A collage created in response to a project by art teacher Susan Dardar at Hyde Park Academy High School.
Installation view of the Contemporary Community Curriculum Show at Gallery 400 in June 2000.
Artist and teachers consider options for the CCC Website at the CCC Evaluation and Vision Meeting. From the left: Lisa Wax, Tracy Van Duinen, Bernard Williams, Cedelia Drye-Clark, Mary Patten, Esther Parada, and Olivia Gude. Early in the CCC Workshops teachers brought in examples of their own artmaking, building communities of shared aesthetic sensibility. Teachers consider Kerry Freedman’s proposals for a postmodern art curriculum.