Day 1


9:30 - 10:00 AM

10:00 A - 10:30 AM
Opening Plenary
Welcome / Opening Remarks from the Antiracist Classroom Organizers

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Interrogating Pedagogy: Justice in the Core

Jennifer Rittner, Faculty at School of Visual Arts
Ash Alexander, Photography Student at ArtCenter College of Design

Facilitators will examine ways that educators, students, and administrators can productively coauthor curricula in ways that challenge the prevailing white, western canon, and center the contributions of creators of color. Participants are invited to bring their own syllabi; experiences with one-sided, oppressive, or inclusive classroom experiences; and ideas about the academic infrastructures required to support a radical evolution of art and design pedagogy to this session. Together, participants and facilitators will explore a set of provocations around common pedagogical questions and walk away with a set of resources and strategies for interrogating art and design educational systems.

Designing Alternative Futures for Museums + Galleries

Alyssa Machida, Oppressive Systems Analyst, The Dreamspace Project

This hands-on workshop engages in radically reimagining museum and gallery spaces. Together, participants will think through deconstructing and redesigning cultural spaces based on core values of intersectional inclusivity, equity, and accessibility. Small group work will focus on factors such as collections + curation, pedagogy + programming, development + funding, space + architecture, and staff + workplace culture. Participants will be encouraged to collectively dream, envision, and generate new ideas for alternative futures and create blueprints for transformational work in the arts.

12:00 - 1:00 PM

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


Epistemic Interfaces: Art, Design, and Technology

Katherine Moriwaki, Associate Professor of Media Design, Parsons School of Design
Cristina Stephany, Instructional Designer, Sensemaking Education & Teacher Supervisor, CSUDH

Technology education and the “maker movement” is often cast as a "disruptor,” which generates "social change" by imparting "21st Century" skills and competencies. Too often, these tools are framed as neutral, when in reality they hold a white, western, hegemonic, stance on knowledge. Through hands-on engagement, facilitators will introduce "electronic textiles" and "computational craft" as a context for critically interrogating contemporary technology integration with art and design. In doing so, they will examine how dominant western epistemological frames around innovation and progress shape the ways we learn-by-doing and explore how to craft an anti-racist practice through self-reflection.
at land’s edge

Michelle Dizon, Core Organizer, at land’s edge
Sandra de la Loza, Core Organizer, at land’s edge
Rose Salseda, Core Organizer, at land’s edge
Angela Peñaredondo, 2017-18 Research Fellow, at land’s edge
Melanie Griffin, 2016-17 Research Fellow, at land’s edge Xiomara Rios Cassanova, 2015-16 Research Fellow, at land’s edge
Turay Turay, 2017-2018 Research Fellow, at land’s edge

at land’s edge is an autonomous pedagogical platform based in East and South Los Angeles that nurtures the voices of cultural producers who are committed to social transformation. Founded and collectively run by women and queers of color, this session is a chance to learn about how at land’s edge has developed as an initiative and how it has grown and changed over the years. Learn about the conversations around decolonizing art making and pedagogy that have been central to the development of at land’s edge and hear first-hand from three generations of research fellows about their experience. Together, we will ask: what are the conditions that women and queers of color face in the arts and what structures of support are needed today?

3:15 PM - 4:45 PM


Art & Design Education Beyond the Institution

Dan McCleary, Founder & Director of Art Division
Eve Moreno, Student at Art Division
Alfredo Alvarado, Student at Art Division
Antonio Serna, Independent Artist

Art and design education isn’t limited to institutions of higher learning: beyond colleges, universities, and museums, practicing artists and designers of color hold space for learning, building networks, and developing their practices. In this session, presenters will share their models, experiences, and reflections on two different manifestations of non-institutional art and design education and their implications for artists of color: Art Division—an organization dedicated to training and supporting under-served youth studying the visual arts—and the work of Antonio Serna—an independent artist and researcher who has worked within collectives and coalitions in New York to learn and teach about the process by which and conditions in which art-as-activism takes place. 
Indigenous Perspective in Visual Communication

Sadie Red Wing, Assistant Director of Native Student Programs at University of Redlands

As Indigenous peoples progress from the American Indian Boarding School era, the urge to distinguish tribes from Pan-Indianism forces a greater responsibility from indigenous designers to visually communicate sovereignty. The role of an indigenous visual communicator requires the practice of visual sovereignty, which has revolutionized a new fight against stereotypes and continues to revitalize an honorable image away from the subordinate portrayal of indigenous peoples. In this session, participants will examine precedents in visual culture and strategize respectful frameworks that push underrepresented cultural perspectives in visual media.

5:00 - 8:00 PM     


Reception + Performance: Alaïa’s Lab

The Gallery Opening is open to the public, see the Facebook event to spread the word.

The gallery will be adorned with work that celebrates and examines the complexity and breadth of racialized identities, critiques art and design education, and materializes the ties between art and activism. Several ArtCenter students and alumni will exhibit work in the gallery and alongside them, artists from New York, Thailand, and Mexico will contribute pieces as well. The opening will be punctuated by a performance from Ari Melenciano: Alaïa’s Lab. Ari’s performance is a living, breathing installation with DJing, live-beat making, live drawing, and sound interactive visuals that respond to the construction and deconstruction of the Black identity, the commodification and expression of culture, and the nuances of Blackness.

Day 2


8:30 - 9:00 AM
9:00 - 9:30 AM
Opening Remarks

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM


Let’s Talk about Cultural Fit
Kevin Cadena, Independent Designer, Developer & Educator

What does “cultural fit” mean to you? What happens when “cultural fit” operates as a euphemism for “not white enough” to fit in with a “Meet the Team” page full of fair faces. How can young students of color build successful careers with these realities in mind? These barriers are familiar to many people of color attempting to solidify their careers but unable to secure jobs for which they are qualified in favor of white counterparts who lack certain skills but may be “cultural fits.” In this roundtable, participants will exchange experiences, aggregate ideas, and release frustrations around this euphemism.

Navigating Non-Inclusive Spaces
Grace Lynne Haynes, Social Impact Artist & Designer

How can we navigate non-inclusive spaces while still remaining authentic to ourselves? Whose responsibility is it to teach others how not to be racist? This roundtable will discuss the issues students of color face on campus when making work about social issues, politics, culture, and the minority experience. Participants will discuss ways we can get proper critiques on our art and create our best body of work while navigating an institution like ArtCenter. Grace will share her own experience navigating Art Center as a social impact designer and illustrator and striving to gain recognition and respect as a black woman in the art and design world.

To Speak or Not to Speak, That is the Question
Katrina Frye, Founder, Mischief Managed

When finally “seated at the table” what’s more important, bringing others like you to the table or keeping your place at the table? Katrina is a mixed-race female artist and entrepreneur who has struggled to find the right time, opportunity, and safe space to let her voice resonate. By starting her own company, she was finally able to give herself the legitimacy and space she needed. Finally, with “a seat at the table,” how and when should one speak up? As an artist and entrepreneur, how can you represent yourself holistically, even when a client, funder, or vendor only sees your race?

11:15 AM - 12:45 PM


Racial Equity in the Arts: Access & Open Dialogue as Activism

Kelly Waters, Assistant Professor of Communication Design, Parsons School of Design (Fall 2018)
Rayvenn D'Clark, Student at University Arts London
Nadia Williams, Director, Parsons Scholars Program; Asst. Professor, Parsons School of Design
Joelle Riffle, Program Administrator, Parsons Scholars Program/ Parsons School of Design

This session is centered around two initiatives that address how students of color experience higher education: first, access and entry to higher education, and second, what it takes to enable self-determination and a sustaining community that supports students’ ability to learn and thrive once within the institution. Facilitators will share the process, outcomes, and challenges of implementing the Parsons Scholars Program—a three-year college access and preparation program in art and design for NYC public high school students—and the “Afro-Caribbean Open Dialogue Exhibition” at Central Saint Martins in London—a week-long exhibit and artist lecture series that celebrated and explored the richness and complexity of ethnic affiliations, race, gender stereotypes, identity politics, and sexuality within the African Diaspora.

Co-Designing for Racial Equity

Erika Harano, Associate Manager, Learning and Education at Creative Reaction Lab

Quinton Ward, Community Design Apprentice

Andra Lang, Community Design Apprentice

Members of Creative Reaction Lab’s first Community Design Apprenticeship Program—a 10-week training in Equity-Centered Community Design—will discuss how they worked with residents of the Kingshighway neighborhood, a predominantly African American, historically disinvested community in St. Louis, to better understand their perspectives, concerns, and feedback about how access to a potential light rail system would impact their quality of life. Participants will learn about aspects of both the apprenticeship experience and outcomes of the equity-centered design process implemented with residents, and hear panelists’ reflections on potential applications for this work in other communities and sectors.

12:45 - 1:30 PM   

1:30 - 3:00 PM


Retooling Critique for Racial Equity and Inclusion

Billie Lee, Assistant Professor, Hartford Art School
Judith Leemann, Associate Professor, Fine Arts 3D/Fibers, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Lyssa Palu-ay, Interim Provost, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Current and Former Massachusetts College of Art and Design Student Facilitators: Alexander Sebastianus, Rico St. Paul, Marissa Cote, Allison MacDonald, Ryann Feldman, Brendan Kenny

Retooling Critique is a pedagogy group of artists, educators, and activists working in different institutions and organizations for the study of studio critique, with particular focus on its relation to racial equity and inclusion. In this session, students, faculty, and an administrator from MassArt will map out the place of retooling studio critique within larger institution-wide initiatives for racial equity and inclusion. A short panel presentation will be followed by smaller facilitated workgroups allowing focused examination of various critique tools and frameworks. The aim of the workshop is to share research in progress and to build a community of inquiry across institutions, geographies, identities, and roles.
3:00 - 4:30 PM     
Closing Plenary: Reflecting on Reconstructing Practice

Rosten Woo, Artist, Designer & Writer; Co-founder Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)
Maytha Alhassen, Senior Fellow at Pop Culture Collaborative and TED Resident
Cat Yang, Co-organizer of asian mamas working in the arts

In the closing plenary, three practicing artists and designers will reflect on the themes explored throughout the sessions at Reconstructing Practice. Together with moderators and participants, they will discuss the implications of content highlighted in sessions—student and faculty organizing efforts, initiatives in higher education, and critiques of institutional norms—for those creating various types of media in their daily practices beyond the educational realm. In what ways do design education and practice intersect? How might the provocations raised throughout Reconstructing Practice influence the ways we operate as professionals?