In the past year we have experienced unprecedented changes in the social, economic, and interpersonal landscape: transformations in higher education; financial uncertainty; home-work imbalance; quarantine during a global pandemic; a divisive political climate; the US election cycle; and the Black Lives Matter and #SayHerName protests following the violent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many more. We have seen changes for us as teachers, scholars, makers, writers, and advocates for higher education and the place of academic arts discourse and development in this new world. We have seen great inequities in and serious changes to higher education that have affected faculty, staff, students, and the long-term support of art, art history, and design—as well as changes to our pedagogy, our community, and the very structure of who is cared for and how. We have suffered enormous losses and continue to mourn. These losses have had an immense impact on all of us, including underserved BIPOC communities, adjunct faculty, and arts communities unaffiliated with institutions. Significantly, this time has affected our greatest assets: connecting to, sharing with, and knowing our community.
How CAA offers service and support to our members has also changed as we work to become more inclusive, more diverse, and more equitable in the community at large. However, because so much of 2020 was spent “coping with” and “adjusting to,” we haven’t had the time to pause and reflect. We wonder what the future will look like, and as an organization, how to offer structure and support as we learn and grow together. As part of these changes we have been faced with the hard choice of what to do in the face of adversity. This community of artists, historians, and designers has risen to the moment, adapted, and supported one another. CAA has advocated for you by adapting in its greatest shift ever: to a fully online Annual Conference. Although this has sometimes felt like a pressure point, perhaps it is just a growing pain—and we will continue to show up for community more strongly and profoundly than ever before.
To ensure lasting change, we are committed to the following:
- Expanding on the Annual Conference’s virtual format, becoming ever more accessible and globally inclusive
- Expanding advocacy for underserved and BIPOC communities
- Developing and offering free and open professional resources via collegeart.org
- Increasing access to participation of our global community throughout the year
- Including diverse voices and supporting new outreach and inclusionary initiatives, especially for populations and communities that we have not engaged before: geographically, culturally, and in socioeconomic diversity
- Helping reshape the landscape of professional support via a strategic digital overhaul
- Listening to member concerns and responding with thoughtful urgency, bringing ease to transitions
CAA will continue to regularly address the changing workforce conditions in academic and cultural institutions, including for students and for the trajectory of adjunct faculty; enhance equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion initiatives in higher education, including promoting best practices in the reduction of systemic barriers, in faculty and staff hiring, in the support and recruitment of first-generation students from diverse and underrepresented groups, and in the implementation of sound consultative processes involving the affected communities; and increase public awareness and institutional recognition regarding the value and importance of humanities scholarship and visual arts and design education within the academy and beyond it.
CAA, its board, and its staff continue to stand in support of its members and our larger arts community to create, analyze, teach, and promote art within our higher educational and cultural institutions.
Written in solidarity and as affirmation of CAA’s commitment to the diversity of practices and practitioners we serve.
Art Journal Winter 2020, Blackness Issue (free online until March 31, 2021)
posted by Allison Walters — February 02, 2021
The CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.
In this week’s podcast, Mattie Schloetzer and Jason Vrooman come together to discuss trials and triumphs of remote and virtual museum internships during the COVID era.
Mattie Schloetzer is the administrator of internships and museum fellowships at the National Gallery of Art and a member of the CAA professional practices committee. She is co-chairing the session, “Best Practices and Lessons Learned from the Digital Shift to Prepare Students for Professional Success,” at the 2021 CAA Annual Conference, February 10–13.
Jason Vrooman is a curator and educator at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. He especially enjoys letting conversations with museum-goers of all ages inform acquisitions and talking about ethics and equity with the next generation of museum professionals.
Can you take a few moments to help CAA’s Professional Practices Committee in its efforts to develop guidelines on assessment and evaluation in art and design?
Assessment and evaluation are often thought of and valued (or not valued) in different ways, according to peoples’ diverse academic positions and purposes that these tools will serve. As CAA is not an accrediting agency, the Committee’s guidelines will, in part, focus on providing a broad framework for best practices, clarifying what is a common understanding of assessment and evaluation for art and design, and providing recommendations that will help educators and academic units focus on equity, student success, and improve instruction, research and curricular development.
Please consider replying to the questions that you find most important, timely, or needed to support your work and program. Your time and any feedback you can provide to help frame the Committee’s new guidelines are greatly appreciated.
Please submit your responses by 11:59 PM (EST) Monday, February 8, 2021.
Celebrating Ten Years of the CAA-Getty International Program!
CAA-Getty Global Conversation I: The Migration of Art and Ideas
Live Q&A: Thursday, February 11, 10-10:30 AM
CAA-Getty Global Conversation II: The Climate Crisis, Pandemics, Art, and Scholarship
Live Q&A: Thursday, February 11, 12-12:30 PM
CAA-Getty Global Conversation III: The Challenges, Disobediences and Resistances of Art in the Transnational Imagination
Live Q&A: Friday, February 12, 12-12:30 PM
CAA-Getty Global Conversation IV: Disruptive Pedagogies and the Legacies of Imperialism and Nationalism
Live Q&A: Friday, February 12, 2-2:30 PM
CAA-Getty Global Conversation V: A Multiplicity of Perspectives at the Museum of Modern Art (In conversation with curators at MoMA)
Live Q&A: Saturday, February 13, 10-10:30 AM
See conference schedule for details:
posted by Allison Walters — February 01, 2021
CAA joins 41 other organizations in signing on to a statement by the American Historical Association (AHA) condemning the report from “The President’s Advisory 1776 Commission.” “Written hastily in one month after two desultory and tendentious ‘hearings,’” the AHA writes, “without any consultation with professional historians of the United States, the report fails to engage a rich and vibrant body of scholarship that has evolved over the last seven decades.”
The just –released “1776 Report” claims that common understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution can unify all Americans in the love of country. The product of “The President’s Advisory 1776 Commission,” the report focuses on these founding documents in an apparent attempt to reject recent efforts to understand the multiple ways the institution of slavery shaped our nation’s history. The authors call for a form of government indoctrination of American students, and in the process elevate ignorance about the past to a civic virtue.
posted by Allison Walters — February 01, 2021
CAA, along with 23 other member societies, has signed on to a statement issued by the ACLS urging the Kansas Board of Regents to uphold employment protections for faculty.
The statement urges the Kansas Board of Regents to withdraw its endorsement of the proposed policy to ease the path to suspending, dismissing, or terminating employees, including tenured faculty members, without undertaking the processes of formally declaring a financial emergency.
It also calls attention to the statement co-signed in summer 2020 by leaders of cultural institutions and scholarly societies, including CAA, attesting to the importance of teaching and research to sustaining a robust economy and a just democracy.