A Comprehensive Examination Of The Arts At Appalachian: Moving Toward An Equitable Future

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shauna Caldwell (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Julie Shepherd-Powell

Abstract: This thesis argues that a holistic approach to social justice is essential to the work of arts institutions in Appalachia, a region that has consistently been home to some of the most progressive thinkers and organizers in the country. Developed out of a sense of urgency, I have documented how the Turchin Center for Visual Arts and the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs are equally as crucial in the movement for social justice as other notable arts and civically engaged centers throughout the Appalachian region and beyond. Research for this project included conducting interviews and creating artwork with women leaders in these arts organizations as well as compiling demographic data and demands for change emerging from contemporary dialogue in the visual and performing arts. Exploring documentary and collaborative artmaking in Appalachia, as well as my own artmaking practice, as an extension of the ways we represent and perceive the region, allowed me to situate the importance of photography as a way to connect to a greater sense of belonging and radical change. With this, I created a proposal for changes that embody what it means to work toward equitable futures in the Appalachian region. As a way to maintain accountability, I built upon previous research to expand our understanding of love as an essential tool for social change. Though I recognize many of the issues present in university arts organizations will not be solved through one thesis project, I am hopeful that this effort will initiate changes that will make great strides toward creating a more equitable organization and situate us as part of a radical Appalachian future by intentionally providing a platform where artists can share their own visions for that future.

Additional Information

Caldwell, S. (2021). A Comprehensive Examination Of The Arts At Appalachian: Moving Toward An Equitable Future. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
Appalachia, Art, Alternative process photography, Social justice, Women leaders in the arts

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