What is Community Arts? Three Women’s Professional Journeys through Lesley University’s Master’s Program

By Rebecca Ann S. Kirk, Kelsey Fox Bennett and Angela Lembke.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Three of the first graduates of Lesley University’s Arts, Community and Education Masters in Education program share their experiences as the first cohort to study in this unique program. They address their professional backgrounds, program highlights including coursework and internships, and thesis research in a dynamic workshop using arts based methods. Arts, Community, and Education is a 36-credit Master of Education in Community Arts that provides a dynamic and interdisciplinary foundation in community arts work.

Keywords: Community, Arts, Education, Masters Programs, Arts Integration

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.23-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 815.935KB).

Rebecca Ann S. Kirk

Graduate, Masters of Education, Creative Arts in Learning Division, Arts, Community, and Education, Lesley University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

As a dancer, singer, artist, and educator, Rebecca Ann S. Kirk focuses on building communities. She has worked for Boston Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She designed the logo for Caracolores and her artwork is published in Ann C. Schauber’s Working with Differences in Communities. As an independent consultant, recent projects include facilitating arts integrated professional development workshops for the Hartford Public Schools’ arts initiative Hartford Performs. An active arts researcher, she also was a research assistant on a National research study by Lesley University funded by the Ford Foundation, which examined the impact of arts integrated curriculum on teachers. Rebecca is a member of the first cohort to graduate from Lesley University’s Arts, Community and Education program with her Master of Education. Her thesis, entitled “The Nature of Insecurity as it relates to Artistic Identity,” included an arts-based research choreography project entitled Not/Alone?. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Whitman College in sociology with an honors thesis entitled “The Performing Arts and Society: Exploring the Roles and Relationships.”

Kelsey Fox Bennett

Graduate, Masters of Education, Creative Arts in Learning Division, Arts, Lesley University, Port Washington, New York, USA

Kelsey Fox Bennett is a multi-modal arts facilitator of all ages, beliefs and backgrounds. Her focus is providing women, mothers, and children from pre-birth to 3 years and beyond the opportunity to express themselves through voice, movement, the written word, various crafts as well as visual, recycled and environmental art. Kelsey has led Mom’s Art Support Workshops in the greater Boston area; offered classes to pregnant women, moms, infants and toddlers and assisted Lesley Professor Young Song with research, community arts workshops and the development of the Lesley Environmental Arts and Education Website (www.lesleyecoart.com). She is currently offering classes and workshops in the Port Washington and greater NYC area through her business Inner Art Creations. Kelsey holds a Masters of Education in Arts, Community and Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from CU Boulder’s Creative Writing department in 2007 and has an educational background in Expressive Arts Therapy, In-Depth Educational Kinesiology and is Child and Infant CPR Certified.

Angela Lembke

Graduate Student, Masters of Education, Creative Arts in Learning Division, Arts, Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Angela Lembke is an artist, curator and archivist, whose work focuses on the conservation and preservation of ideas and ephemera. Her visually stimulating documentarian work is rich in material and metaphor. Her collage, photography, drawing and mixed-media artwork has been featured in gallery shows in Cleveland and Boston and is part of numerous private collections. Angela’s varied professional experiences are in the areas of Higher Education and Museum Management. She held the position of gallery manager at MOCA Cleveland where she assisted in the installation and maintenance of exhibitions. She has exercised her curatorial skills in the organization of a series of retrospective exhibitions of staff and faculty work at Lesley University. Most recently she completed an internship within the Archives Department at Emerson College, which culminated in the curation of an archival exhibition that documented the history of Ploughshares, a Boston-based literary journal. Angela earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art and completed her Master Thesis at Lesley University in Arts, Community and Education in May of 2010.


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