Syracuse University’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) was recently created through a merger of the Office of Institutional Research and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment. The streamlined operation, located at 400 Ostrom Avenue, serves all members…
Breedlove Readers Display Works at Community ‘ArtStory’ Event
The artwork of local teens was on display during a recent event hosted by professors Courtney Mauldin and Rochele Royster at Syracuse University’s South Side Communications Center.
Participants in the event, “ArtStory: Love & Language,” were members of the Breedlove Readers, a young adult book club for middle and high school Black girls in Central New York. Their artwork was inspired by the books as well as their own lives.
“They were able to curate an exhibition, tell a collective story of their experiences and explore themes from our book discussions such as Black girlhood, self-love, identity, hair, friendship, coming of age and societal pressures,” says Mauldin, an assistant professor of educational leadership in the School of Education. Mauldin co-founded Breedlove Readers and was recently awarded a Humanities New York grant for the project. “The value of this type of programming is its power to foster community, bridge literacy and the arts and underscore the impact of creating meaningful spaces for Black girls to be fully themselves.”
Additionally, several makerspace activities, including an indigo fabric-dying workshop, mask-making, creative writing and communal painting and music, were led by Mauldin and Royster, an assistant professor of art therapy in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
“Making art in a community setting helps our readers make sense of their thoughts and emotions, develop greater self-awareness and find a sense of belonging with other girls. Artistic expression benefits their overall development and helps them reclaim identities that are often misinterpreted or stereotyped,” Royster says. “This interdisciplinary and cross-departmental collaboration let us address community problems and engage with community members while centering the Breedlove Readers as equal collaborators and experts on their lived experiences. Both the community and we as faculty benefit by coming together with shared goals while being inclusive and innovative and empowering community models of care.”
The program was funded by the Syracuse University Office for Strategic Initiatives, which is led by Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives Marcelle Haddix.
(Photos courtesy Martin Walls, School of Education)