Location: Annapolis MD 21401
Curriclum Area(s) enhanced by this activity: Creative Writing, Global Studies, History, Visual Art,
Best for grade level: 9 – 12, 12 – ADULT,
Artists have a special role to play in the global struggle for peace. At our best, we speak not only to the people, but for the people, “visually.” Art is our chosen weapon against ignorance and hatred. This project was created for my students (grades 9 – 12) to participate along with me in a call for greater awareness and action in maintaining our declaration of 30 Human Rights. It’s also a celebration of the important role that artists play in responding to America and the world we live in.
“I believe artists have the ability to change viewpoints on a large scale and in a relatively short period of time. Never has there been a time where this is needed more than in today’s society.” – Michael Bell
How the educator led the project & inspired work:
Michael Bell introduced his 30 HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT along with Eric Fischl’s America: Now and Here movement to a crowd of 1,000+ Southern High School students, parents and members of his community at ArtQuest, the largest annual professionally juried student art exhibition in the State of Maryland — founded and sponsored by Bell. At ArtQuest, Bell shared his vision for creating a collaborative, thematic based project based on our “30 Human Rights” as a contribution to the on-going conversation about America: Now and Here’s hot-button topics that explore America’s people, places and ideas. Bell put out a call to his student artists at Southern High School to get involved and they responded. Student artists, ranging in age from 9th – 12th grade, chose a particular “human right” and then created a work of art to best illustrate their interpretation of that right and how it made them feel. This project was first exhibited at a Gala to benefit Project Meridian Foundation in Staten Island, NY and has inspired many discussions about America and the artist’s responsibility to make a difference in the human rights arena.
View the YouTube video clip below to see all 30 HUMAN RIGHTS PIECES and Bell’s Historic Announcement for “America: Now and Here” at ArtQuest!
Summary: Organize a unique, collaborative art project in your classroom and/or community that helps empower student artists to make a difference in the human rights arena through creating works of art as a constructive (as opposed to a destructive) means of carrying out their message.