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GISCA serves to foster understanding and engagement in the arts as catalyst and agent of social change through a multifaceted approach that combines interdisciplinary scholarship and original research with community engagement. Situated within a global perspective on social issues and how the world's diverse cultures attack problems utilizing creative expression and artistic disciplines, we aim to:
  • Build knowledge of indigenous cultural and artistic traditions, their intersection with global dimensions, and the problems of our times
  • Broaden perspectives of the history and development of artistic forms, as well as their social construction, meaning, and practices
  • Deepen understanding of the arts as a vehicle of positive social change
  • Develop a compendium of arts-based social change movements around the world
Founded by graduate students of Teachers College, Columbia University's Graduate School of Education, GISCA is at heart a community-oriented educational endeavor. We aim to bridge the gap between the arts as cultural praxis and the arts as lived experience by providing tools for open dialogue and expression as well as participatory arts learning experiences at the nexus of art and community where students, scholars, artists, administrators, and patrons alike intersect. To this diverse group of stakeholders, we aim to foster engagement with social issues through arts learning and participation by providing:
  • Educational resources for teachers, educators, and artists including lesson plans and pedagogical tools, and for college and graduate students, including philosophical and theoretical frameworks
  • Participatory workshops for students to learn in and through the arts