Gender and Power Capstone Project Blends Art and Activism
Ellis’ Gender and Power class finished the school year with a gender-focused capstone project that combined art and activism. Each student or student team identified a cause that had deep meaning for them, wrote a manifesto, and then selected a tool through which to organize creative actions addressing their chosen issue.
The Upper School students designed activist projects using posters, inflatable art, leaflets, image theater, TikToks, guerilla projection, original trading cards, and more to promote their campaigns that centered on topics such as reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and how women are represented in sports. The class also had the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Britney Brinkman, Associate Professor in Psychology at Point Park University, who visited the class to discuss the role of art in activism and social justice campaigns.
"This project ties together all of the learning threads and concepts we’ve examined as a class throughout the year: using gender as a historical lens, investigating how art or cultural products can set gender expectations, and connecting the past to the present,” explains Upper School History Teacher Susan Corbesero. “It gives the students a sense of agency; they get to take a gender-related issue that they care about and work toward a real-world solution to it. In turn, because they’re supporting a cause they’re interested in and passionate about, the students really rise to the occasion in creative, surprising, and wonderful ways.”