Learning Is A Lifestyle
LEARNING IS A LIFESTYLE: ART ACTIVATING CONNECTED LEARNING IN CHICAGO
This public action project engages the creative community to explore how art can activate learning throughout the city; not as something you do but as something you live. The title is inspired by the late Brother Mike Hawkins, who promoted the idea of lifelong learning in his work as an artist, poet, and educator. “Learning is a Lifestyle” imagines learning as curiosity, expression, beauty, identity and culture. These things are often intangible and difficult to measure, yet they are critical to a life of learning.
At Chicago Art Department, we are committed to pushing artistic practice by connecting artists to diverse communities and organizing around the relevant issues of our times. Our goals for this project are to develop: (1) Art projects that express Connected Learning, learning as a lifestyle and learning as culture (2) Visions of Chicago as a place of learning, a citywide campus (3) New opportunities for artists to create and connect to communities of youth, parents, and educators, and (4) A space for the Connected Learning community to engage artists as potential collaborators and creative partners.
Co-Founder, Project Director, Chicago Art Department
This project comes in two parts:
PART I. Concepts: A Book of Ideas
CAD is asking for submissions of ideas, concepts and proposals for art projects which will be shared with the public in the forthcoming publication, “Learning is a Lifestyle: Speculative Art Projects to Activate Connected Learning in Chicago.” This publication will serve as an introduction to the idea of “learning as lifestyle” and as a guidebook to spark creative action in the city. The publication will initially be released in electronic format (PDF), available online, and also as a limited run of printed editions. It is intended for the general public, but also targeted to communities of educators, policymakers, and funders.
Artists who submit ideas for the book (Part I) may stipulate that their project be considered for funding awards, for projects to be realized between the months of May 2015 and April 2016.
Aided by generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, CAD’s selection committee will choose projects based on strength of proposal, vision, plan for success, public engagement, and overall impact. In addition to financial support, the selected artists will be recognized with a CAD Artist Residency in which they will gain access to CAD support system (i.e. access to studio space, exhibition spaces, marketing and communications, peer-to-peer critical feedback) as well as connection to the larger education community around Chicago.
This project is inspired by the work CAD has been doing with Connected Learning and Chicago City of Learning. Through a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, CAD resident artists in video and design have created works that promote the ideas and tell stories around Connected Learning and Chicago City of Learning. This project seeks to expand the scope of this work through further engagement of the arts and broader creative community.
What is Connected Learning?
Connected Learning is an educational approach designed for the ever-changing world and realities of the digital age, where demands for learning never stop. In a connected world, learning can no longer happen in silos, only through connections. Whether it is in-school or out-of-school, formal or informal, virtual or physical, Connected Learning promotes learning that is driven by our interests, by socially interacting with peers and mentors, and by making the connection to relevancy in our lives and communities. Connected Learning is learning that is about making and producing, learning with shared purpose, and learning in an openly-networked world.
What is the Chicago City of Learning?
The first effort of its kind to take place in a major city in the United States, Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) is a groundbreaking initiative that joins together learning opportunities for young people in a way that allows them to think about, pursue, and develop their interests. CCOL breaks down the false barriers between learning that happens in school and learning that happens outside of school. Through CCOL young people can take new paths of discovery, explore the city’s rich resources and find out what they can learn, make, do, and ultimately become. CCOL grew out of the City’s 2013 Chicago Summer of Learning in which more than 100 youth-serving organizations joined together to make their programs visible. Youth
participants earned digital badges that provide permanent recognition of the achievements made by youth through their activities.
How do we activate, help create greater understanding and express this approach to learning? We invite you to participate in a collective brainstorming and submit your ideas. We invite concepts that are fully fleshed out and could be executed tomorrow, but we also welcome big dreams. Submit ideas that you would produce yourself, ideas that would require a team of collaborators, and even ideas you can’t do but wish that someone else would. Most importantly we are looking for ideas that you are willing to publish and share with the public.
Types of Projects
Ideas can be based in any media: visual art, music, performance, design, painting, music, poetry, fashion, digital, analog, etc.
Poetic vs. Practical
If you are interested in ideas alone (Part I), let your imagination run wild. If you would ultimately like to see your project in both Part I (book) and Part II (realized), it will help to propose projects that have some degree of both poetic (imagination) and practical (clear) elements.
Themes to Consider
Here are some questions that might spur some creativity: How can art activate the idea of learning for both the maker and/or audience? How could art help people experience or understand Connected Learning? How can learning be an expression of a lifestyle? How can learning be an aesthetic experience? What does learning as a cultural activity look like,
as opposed to an academic one?
Chicago as Muse
As a starting point, we are interested in ideas that speak to our immediate surroundings. We are interested in ideas grounded in Chicago, youth, neighborhoods, defining urban spaces that learn, and communities as classrooms, campuses, and learning labs.
Small, Medium and Large Ideas
We ask you to think of your ideas in terms of “small, medium, and large,” in reference to scale and scope. A small idea could be as simple as a sticker or a screen-printed poster, shared with individuals. A medium might involve posters and the public, while large ideas could involve public installations, community collaborations, or citywide festivals.
How Does Your Work Engage the Public?
Small or large, this is about creating awareness, expanding imagination, and creating new conversations that illustrate concepts of engagement, learning, and growth. While proposed projects are not required to be public art projects, how an audience engages with the work is important.
HOW TO SUBMIT
We have an online submission form that should take your through everything we need.
The deadline for submissions is MONDAY APRIL 20, 2015
Questions, concerns? Please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org