Sharing Resources from our Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice - KIPP Chicago Public Schools

The Whole Child Review Issue No. 4, September 2020

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Sharing Resources from our Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice

Installing CMASJ artwork in schools
It isn’t yet clear when we will physically be back in schools so we are using this time inside empty buildings to install artwork made by students for CMASJ art exhibits. We believe student-created work should always be on display so we will be installing our Activist Soup portraits, along with the bios of each person, creating a beautiful, meaningful permanent fixture at every one of our 8 schools. We set up a Go Fund Me to help with our efforts.

Mural collaboration at KIPP Bloom
Jennifer Hodges, Director of the Whole Child Initiative and Joslyn Villalpando, Director of Arts Programming collaborated this summer to design and paint a mural at KIPP Bloom, centering an interactive experience with butterfly wings and a Jean-Michele Basquiat inspired crown so students feel welcome to become part of the artwork.

KIPP Chicago t-shirt design

Our nation is divided racially, politically, economically and socially. There is an uprising and demand for a reckoning of past and current oppression.  Black people are fighting for liberation, justice and equity, Latinx people are fighting for citizenship and reunion, LGBTQ+ are fighting for protection and there is a plethora of intersectional needs and demands that must be addressed.

At the crux of our work in taking a deeper position in becoming an antiracist organization are the children we teach and love. They are the center of our daily work and our goals. With this year’s regional t-shirt, we worked to center the strength, worthiness and humanity of our children. Our intent is to elevate the dynamic character of our students, positively affirm and reflect their identity and individuality through wholeheartedly focusing the design on children.Pictured here is the team that led the efforts behind the t-shirt design including: Director of Arts Programming, Joslyn Villalpando, Director, Brand Strategy & Communications, Brittany Jones, Director of Whole Child Initiative, Jennifer Hodges, and Head of Talent, Ellen Sale (not pictured). After setting the intention and goals of the design, the team used photos of KIPP students to draw the image on the front while the back of the shirt features a quote from Pablo Casals, “Children must know that they are miracles, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like them.”

Purchase a t-shirt here to donate to KIPP Chicago! Orders will be taken until October 18th and t-shirts will ship by October 30th. All proceeds will go toward arts programming and remote learning.

Highlight of past CMASJ exhibit

We will continue our Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice work to celebrate and promote Black and Latinx centered themes, like one of our favorites from 2018, Springtime on Neptune. This exhibition explored themes of Afrofuturism to celebrate a reimagining of our earth with Black people at the center. Springtime on Neptune also coincided with Chicago’s 1st annual Wakandacon, which filmed some of its promotional material in our museum, and the release of Black Panther, the Marvel movie featuring an Afrofuturistic theme. We would be remiss if we did not mention the August 28th passing of Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa in Black Panther among other notable characters in movies. Black Panther just came out when we were creating the artwork for Springtime on Neptune and it was incredibly inspiring to see a Black superhero in a major Marvel film. Wakanda forever!

As we adjust to creating content for online viewing and interaction, we are excited to offer ideas for kids to engage in art and social justice.

Check out our CMASJ lesson plans page here.

Check out the YouTube page of KIPP One Primary art teacher, Ms. Weldon, who shows us how to make art from household objects.

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