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Re: Inclusion in the book arts



> I think the best approach is one of partnership with community leaders-
>church groups, boys and girls clubs, etc. and perhaps with a librarian who
>shares your commitment. One approach would be to ask what their goals are for
>their kids, what kinds of skills, experiences, knowledge they feel are
>important, and then work together to plan projects. If you work with a
>community group that is part of a larger statewide-nationwide group, it might
>be easier to spread your idea to other communities. We're in the sales
>business as well as the bookmaking business, and my experience on selling the
>idea one by one to individuals tells me that is not the most efficient way.
>
>Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord

and we're in the art "business," which to me is the business of growing
spirit & mind, & I'm glad Susan repeats what I said about going out into the
community and making alliances and actually talking to people. And I'd like
to just say that this not only benefits the classes we teach, the workshops
we lead, and helps us get diverse peoples into those classes -- but it also
benefits us as teachers & book arts leaders. I don't think there's any such
thing as a good teaching experience unless the teacher/artist ends up
learning as much from the students as they learn from her or him. This kind
of community work helps the artists grow, whether those artists are the
teachers or the students.

charles

ps -- one resource that has not been mentioned concerning this thread is the
excellent article in the January 1994 Bookways, "Off the Streets and Into
the Book," written by book artist, poetic, publisher, and critic Karl Young,
about Amos Kennedy's book art workshop for "inner city" kids judged to be at
high risk of going to jail. I recommend the article to anyone who cares
about this issue.

One of my own most compelling experiences in bookmaking was making a book of
songs from the Yaqui communities in southern Arizona, getting to know those
communities and the people (adults & teenagers) involved in
oral/musical/dance performance within those communities, and presenting a
book of their materials to them. I think I definitely learned a lot more in
that experience than I taught.


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