The Minnesota Women’s Press recently featured a profile of Maria Cristina “Tina” Tavera, director of the McNair Scholars Program at Augsburg College, and her daughter Paloma Giossi. Tavera is an artist and activist whose work often focuses on the relationships between womanhood and culture. “My artistic mission is to create pieces that inspire conversations about topics, about how gender and cultural issues are viewed. I want to create access to arts for women,” Tavera said in the article.
The article also examines how Tavera’s own cultural heritage has impacted her work; she has dual-citizenship with the U.S. and Mexico. “Art has the capacity to teach non-Latinos about our Latino culture,” Tavera said. “To create a sense of community for Latinos, and to create places for conversation.”
Tavera’s work will be featured in “Reconfiguring Casta,” an exhibit in Augsburg College’s Christensen Center art gallery from February 29 to March 31. A reception will be held at the gallery on March 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. Additionally, Tavera has curated a collection titled, “Sus Voces: Female Printmakers from Mexico” that will be displayed at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking from February 5 to March 27 with a reception on March 4 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Read: Visualizing women’s stories on the Minnesota Women’s Press site for further exhibition and event details.
Harry Boyte, senior fellow in the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, recently wrote an online column for political newspaper The Hill in which he argues that educators should seek to develop students’ abilities to handle conflict by engaging them in self-guided civic involvement. Recent conversations about free speech and identity politics have primarily focused on either criticizing or applauding students’ approaches to effecting change, a trend which Boyte feels too readily discounts a student’s agency.
“Young people are hungry for opportunities to learn the skills and concepts to handle conflicts and make constructive change,” he writes. Providing timely guidance and these opportunities is important because, “Young people are citizens today, not citizens in preparation.”
Boyte outlines the Public Achievement model of “citizen politics” as everyday problem-solving and public work. Public Achievement sees students work together on real-world projects (such as building a playground for local children) that require a broad set of skills vital to a democratic way of life. In one example, the students “got the parish council on their side, negotiated zoning changes with city officials, and raised $60,000 from local businesses. To accomplish these feats, they learned how to interview people, write letters, give speeches, call people they didn’t know. They deliberated, created alliances, raised money, mapped power, did research.”
Read: Teaching democratic values on The Hill’s site.
The Many Voices, Bold Visions convocation series continues this week with the Anne Pederson Women’s Resource Center Koryne Horbal lecture.This year’s lecture will feature a performance by The Guerrilla Girls on Friday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. in the Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center. This event is free and open to the public.
In the mid-eighties, a group of women artists took to the streets (with clever and politically devastating posters) to protest the lack of work by women artists and artists of color in museums. Working anonymously to expose sexism and racism in the art world, these women adopted the names of famous female artists and wore gorilla masks to protect themselves from the angry art world elite. Calling themselves The Guerrilla Girls, they have taken their activism from the U.S. to Canada, Japan, Ireland, Germany, and elsewhere—and have expanded their repertoire to include an attack on sexism and racism in Hollywood as well as in global politics. Continue reading “Koryne Horbal lecture features The Guerrilla Girls”