Altogether the course will offer a safe space for students to exchange cultural and personal points of view as expressed in many forms of art and to then participate in dialogues that delve into these rich and complex forms of expression. True dialogue is not a discussion or argumentation aimed to unveil a single truth. True dialogue is a co-creation, a creative process, a source of newness, a discovery journey, and a portal to a new reality. This course is for students who want to be disrupted by a new understanding of art and to embrace new cultural realities as they stretch their perceptions, ideas and experiences.
“Art opens a window into a culture’s dreams, drives, and priorities” revealing “aspects of a culture’s soul.” It is frequently ambiguous and asks to be questioned. Individual perceptions and insights are worthy and do not fall into right or wrong categories. Because art is a dynamic and flexible tool to build personal equity, meaning a sense of fairness, students will enlarge their capacity to connect to the world’s diversity through its multiple expressions. The ensuing dialogues will open thought rather than close it down and encourage openness to other ways of seeing the world. Because students will engage in true dialogue with one another and with art that arises from diverse backgrounds and ways of interpreting the world, they will emerge with increased confidence to interpret complex issues and manage diverse relationships.
The course is experiential and hands-on. It requires personal commitment, an open mind and a desire to grow using new, non-traditional and effective ways of connecting art and intercultural dialogue. It does not require prior knowledge of or experience with art. As part of the experiential learning, some of the course activities will take place in museums and art galleries in Philadelphia.