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The first critical pedagogy conference: A photo essay


Clifford R. Joseph, age 96, receives the inaugural Cliff Joseph Award and honorarium given by the CPAT think tank in recognition of an educational career that has exemplified a radically transformative vision of the creative arts therapies that is committed to anti-racism, anti-imperialism, and dismantling interlocking forces of oppression. Leah Gipson and Anna Hiscox present the award on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Photo Credit: Zemaye Okediji

Cliff Joseph addresses CPAT Conference participants with excerpts from his 1989 essay, Art, Politics, and the Life Force.

Photo Credit: Connor Fenwick

Participants welcome Cliff Joseph. Photo Credit: Connor Fenwick

Cliff Joseph addresses CPAT Conference participants during a Q&A session. Photo Credits: Conner Fenwick (above) Zemaye Okediji (right)

CPAT Conference participants view Leah Gipson’s digital presentation of art by Cliff Joseph. Photo Credit: SARJ

“Critical Pedagogy is” fabric prints by Savneet Talwar. Conference participants embroidered definitions of critical pedagogy in response the CPAT panel presentations. Photo Credit: Pratyush Swarup

CPAT Conference organizers gather for a full-day session on Friday, September 14, 2018 to discuss pedagogical themes for the second convening of the Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies “think tank.” Photo Credit: Grace Duval

CPAT Conference organizers (L-R: Elizabeth McAdam, Leah Gipson, Nisha Sajnani, Susan Hadley) gather for a full-day session on Friday, September 14, 2018 to discuss pedagogical themes for the second convening of the Critical Pedagogy in the Creative Arts Therapies “think tank.” Photo Credit: Valentina Pucarelli

Teaching artist, William Estrada, leads a printmaking “Manifesto” workshop, during which CPAT organizers are asked to synthesize core ideas from the “think tank” to prepare for the opening session of the conference. Photo Credits: Grace Duval

William Estrada, leads a printmaking “Manifesto” workshop for the CPAT “think tank.” Photo Credit: Grace Duval

CPAT Conference organizers present their experiences and ideas from the “think tank” during the Friday evening public session. Presenters: drama therapists, Elizabeth McAdam, Nisha Sajnani, Britton Williams; art therapists, Yasmine Awais, Leah Gipson, Savneet Talwar; music therapists, Susan Hadley, Marisol Norris, Sangeeta Swamy; dance/movement therapists, Meg Chang, Cara A. Gallo. Photo Credit: Pratyush Swarup

Conference participants engage in small group discussions about genealogies of knowledge in response to the “think tank” presentation. Photo Credits: Pratyush Swarup

CPAT Conference participants respond to the “think tank” presentation during the Friday evening public session. Photo Credit: Pratyush Swarup

CPAT Conference participants respond to the “think tank” presentation during the Friday evening public session. Photo Credit: Pratyush Swarup

CPAT organizers work together to define their aspirations for critical pedagogy in the creative arts therapies. Photo Credit: Valentina Pucarelli

CPAT organizers (Britton Williams, Marisol Norris) work together to define their aspirations for critical pedagogy in the creative arts therapies. Photo Credit: Valentina Pucarelli

CPAT Conference panel participants envision multiple avenues for critical pedagogy through theory, research and practice in their disciplines. Panel Presenters: Yasmine Awais, Karen Estrella,Tomoyo Kawano, Sangeeta Swamy; Aram Hans Sifuentes, Jenni Graham, Rochele Royster, Rachel Wallis; Lucia Bennett Leighton, Donna Kaiser, Lizzie McAdam, Naomi Nim, Anthony Riscica. Photo Credits: Conner Fenwick

Leah Gipson is an Assistant Professor in the art therapy department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She is a licensed clinical professional counselor, a registered and board certified art therapist, and has a master’s degree in theological studies. Her current research interests include womanism, black feminism, black church, and the use of cultural spaces to explore the politics of individual and social change. Gipson is a board member for A Long Walk Home, Inc., an organization that uses the arts to empower young people and end violence against women and girls, and a member of the Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies Think Tank. Her recent and past projects include: DIVISIVE, a radio show that explores the intersections and interactivity between politics and cultural work,The Rectory, a neighborhood arts incubator space in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago; and Care Sessions, a partnership through the SAIC Office of Engagement at Homan Square.

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