Lisa Harper Chang
St. Louis, Missouri
Lisa Harper Chang is currently the Community Projects Director at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, a co-appointment with the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, created to explore how social work and the arts can interact in meaningful ways. Under her leadership, the Pulitzer’s Community Projects Department has collaborated with various St. Louis institutions working in the arts, social services, and community development. Harper Chang developed Staging Old Masters and Staging Reflections of the Buddha, programs designed to use art to build bridges among former prisoners, veterans, and the general public. She graduated from the Community Arts Training Institute in 2010.
Harper Chang received her MSW from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, and a BA in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University in Houston, Texas. She has a background and is experienced in nonprofit development and fundraising in the D.C./Baltimore area. She also has led meditations in the Baltimore City Women’s Detention Center, played a vital role in research at a Missouri Division of Youth Services facility, and coordinated an evaluation project of co-occurring disorder clinics across the state of Missouri. Additionally, she has a strong commitment to social change through policy and has worked with the Alzheimer’s Association’s State Advocacy Director to research, and eventually testified in front of the Missouri State Senate Committee on Health, Mental Health, Seniors, and Families regarding long-term care partnership programs.
Her areas of interest include exploring and evaluating ways how social work when combined with cultural practices can be used to empower and help fulfill the inherent potential in all persons.
Staging Innovation: Uniting Theatre Arts and Social Work in a Museum Setting
Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 4:15 pm
Lower Level : Room A
For five months the Pulitzer has partnered with Prison Performing Arts, St. Patrick Center, and Employment connection to present Staging Reflections of the Buddha, a community project inspired by our highly successful Staging Old Masters project of 2009. The project unites theater, visual arts, and social work to build connections between the art and all audiences while transforming lives and fostering connections between communities.
The program works with a group of former prisoners and homeless veterans training them to become actors through weekly workshops that also include art exploration and instruction, theatre exercises, meditation, and rehearsals. Concurrently, the actors work with St. Patrick Center and Employment Connection to apply their art experiences toward achieving their goals, which include but are not limited to, obtaining housing and employment and re-integrating into society. The workshops culminate in performances of an original work created by the actors.
After two successful Staging programs, the question is what happens next? Can we replicate the program again, and if so, in what capacity? Can the program be exported to another museum or arts institution? Can the program develop into an organization on its own?
Inquiry and Research in Arts-Based Community Development 1
Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 10:30 am
Lower Level : Room D
This session is a series of inquiries briefly presented by fellows in an arts-based community development training. Each was asked to create a 10 minute presentation about their research.
MARGIE P. HOLLINS: How can theater cross barriers to raise breast cancer awareness among young African-American women who may not know that they are at risk?: African American women are among the smaller population for breast cancer, but have the highest fatality rate. How can cultural-specific messages in theater provide motivation for behavior change, and inspire Action?
BETH DROUANT: Advocacy, Self Reflection, and Disability: How can polarized communities use art to create a stronger interrelation with pride and visibility? How do we bridge the gap between Deaf and deaf, speaking and signing, disabilities and abilities?
ED REGGI: Stories, Screens and Value: How do stories shape our self identity? How does storytelling form our subconscious and how do we relate incidents in our life to stories that we have read or watched? How do stories allow participants to experience different worlds altogether. Throughout time, real life and fictional stories have enlightened tribes, societies and entire cultures. How has the experience changed with the intersection of digital and storytelling?
RENEE FRANKLIN:Redefining Museum Community Engagement: Museums benefit from public privileges and have the public responsibility to be accessible to everyone. Many mainstream museums “claim” to be developing strategies to attract new visitors and deepen their community engagement. Are they making the institutional commitment to achieve and sustain this goal?
LISA HARPER CHANG: Social Work Practices in Art Museums: How do museums become good members of the community? Can social work ethics and practices enhance the art museum’s role in building stronger, more inclusive communities? What are the benefits and challenges of this approach?
REGINA MARTINEZ:The Salerno House Chapter 1: Keys Open Doors: Unlocking our understanding of how to sustain community built on art and relationships. Presenting with Tabatha Pate.
LOIS INGRUM: The Doll Project: Can The Doll Project create understanding and learning about the need for public mourning, healing, and closure as a reaction to violent deaths in our communities?
The Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission created a one year pilot training program that further builds on the the CAT Institute’s cross-sector training in arts-based community development. The Institute’s Graduate Education and Research Program – referred to by the fellows and faculty as TIGER – is an expansion of the Institute’s training with an inquiry-based curriculum for artists and for community/social service practitioners to examine and go deeper into their arts-based work.
TIGER Fellows are CAT Institute graduates and experienced practitioners who have indicated they are ready to expand their scope of practice and become more assertive in their approach to significant community challenges to create positive social change. TIGER aims to produce graduates who will apply arts-based tools and strategies to specific issues and have a more honed, intentional focus for effecting change. The TIGER Fellows are tasked to engage in meaningful research in an area of inquiry of their own choosing with the intention of deepening their individual effectiveness and influencing the field of arts-based community development.
TIGER is underwritten by RAC and the Kresge Foundation. TIGER Faculty: Kathryn Bentley, William Cleveland, Elizabeth Goebl-Parker, Jane Ellen Ibur and Roseann Weiss (Director).