STRUT 2015

Arts and Wellbeing

Our Project

The Arts and Wellbeing project recognizes the importance of the arts in personal and social transformations and as a critical part of individual and social health and wellbeing. Working to support the many efforts at UW-Madison, including the Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Artists in Residence Program, and in collaboration with various units across campus, we seek to develop opportunities for visiting artists and artists in residence to expand their reach and programming both on campus and in local communities. The 4W initiative is committed to supporting venues and opportunities that embrace, share in, and make visible to students and the wider community the power and potential of the arts to address enduring individual and social challenges.

Laura Anderson Barbata: STRUT and Community Arts Practice

In May 2015, 4W Leader Carolyn Kellenborn hosted visiting scholar Laura Anderson Barbata; STRUT! is the culmination of Barbata’s Spring 2015 Interdisciplinary Arts Residency and her course Community Arts Practice. For three months, Barbata and her students facilitated collaborations among groups on- and off-campus through weekly Community Conversations and community outreach, including workshops at the Goodman Community Center and the Lussier Community Education Center and presentations at the Overture Center for the Arts. The Madison Children’s Museum, also a key community partner, hosted Barbata for numerous events and encouraged visitors to make masks and costumes for STRUT!

Rhodessa Jones: Art for Social Agency

Rhodessa Jones in Rhodessa in Naturena Prison Yard, South Africa

Rhodessa Jones in Naturena Prison Yard, South Africa

April 20-23, 2015: With support from the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement and in collaboration with the Department of Afro-American Studies, 4W hosted Rhodessa Jones for a two-day program: Arts for Social Agency. Jones is an actor, writer, director, and founder of the internationally acclaimed “Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women.” Founded in 1989, the Medea Project grew out of a series of intensive theater workshops Jones developed and conducted during the 1980s with women in the San Francisco County Jail. Now more than 30 years old, it has become a model for community-based, process oriented theater for incarcerated women around the world.