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The Blanton Museum Brings Art-Based Anti-Racism and Self-Care Classes Online

The Blanton’s program offers three modules, each with a series of videos, discussion and activity prompts, and facilitator notes.

The Blanton Museum Brings Art-Based Anti-Racism and Self-Care Classes Online

Blanton Museum at the University of Texas, Austin's educational resources and videos, which have been made available on the Blanton's website and on YouTube for free use by educators everywhere.

Initially developed for use by University of Texas faculty and in collaboration with local public schools, the Blanton Museum's educational endeavors, led by director of Education Ray Williams, have been at the cutting edge of a field of research related to the practical and psychological usefulness of art. At the start of the pandemic, his colleague Siobhan McCusker penned a Hyperallergic op-ed that explored what our physically distanced reality means for an art educator such as herself.

For the past decade, the Blanton has been at the forefront of an emerging national trend of collaboration between medical schools and art museums. Initial experiments at Yale and Columbia focused on honing observation skills, so relevant to medical diagnosis, through close looking at art. But Ray's own research, developed in partnership with physician-educators affiliated with Harvard and now at UT's Dell Medical School, has focused on developing empathetic communication skills, promoting resilience and work-life balance, cross-disciplinary teamwork, and cultural competency, all through the critique of art. Dell now requires its med students to spend a requisite number of hours at the Blanton alongside an expert to guide their seeing. The program has even recently been expanded to help veterans and the homeless with issues related to PTSD. It's starting to seem like there is no end to the practical benefits of looking at art.

The Blanton's program offers three modules, each with a series of videos, discussion and activity prompts, and facilitator notes: Thinking Through Art (visual evidence-based analysis and critical thought); Artists and Social Justice (prompts on race and injustice through the works of Luis Jiménez and Byron Kim, among others); and Community and Well-Being (one-minute self-care videos, each inspired by a single artist such as Feliciano Centurión, Donald Moffett, and Tavares Strachan). The Blanton's PK-12 resources, also available digitally, include videos and prompts around Social-Emotional Learning, studio activities, social justice, and more.


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