1st Edition

Promoting Civic Engagement Through Art Education A Call to Action for Creative Educators

Edited By Flávia Bastos, Doug Blandy Copyright 2025
    304 Pages 12 Color & 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 12 Color & 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This textbook equips students and educators committed to understanding how art and creative practice work as powerful communicative tools and have a substantial role in advancing civic participation. Alongside promoting educational practices with learners’ civic engagement in mind, this book is a call to action, inviting creative educators to explore the potential of art for developing critical perspectives, articulating voices and diverse points of view, and engaging in dialogue across difference.

    Chapters assist students and educators in understanding critical concepts ranging from the protections afforded art under the constitution, to the role of civic institutions such as museums, community arts centers, and schools in advancing civic participation. They also present the relationship between art, education, and civic engagement using watershed political moments such as voter suppression initiatives, xenophobic reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, and widespread national Black Lives Matter protests. Readers are guided throughout with a series of key questions at the onset of each chapter, and encouraged to investigate further the issues discussed through exploration of the many resources embedded in each chapter. Coursework and participatory learning experiences that orient future and current art educators to the relationship of the arts and culture to democracy are also featured.

    This book will be ideal for students in arts education in both upper division undergraduate and graduate levels, with cross-curricular appeal for students of political science, social studies, sociology, public history, public anthropology, heritage studies, and public humanities. As well as this, it will be a must read for educators who are asked to respond to challenges within the political sphere, and how these political challenges are influencing educational environments.

    Section 1: Theory: Developing a Democratic Imagination  1. Civics and the Arts: Developing Cultural Citizenship within Art Education  2. Limit Acts and Constructed Situations as Curriculum: Paulo Freire and the Situationist International  3. Transformative Learning Towards Socio-Ecological Consciousness and Civic Engagement: The Creative Potential of Nature Connection  4. Reproductive Justice as Feminist Art Education  5. An Affective and Sensory Civic Encounter: Examining Ableism and Civic Education through Arts Based Policy Research  6. Encountering the I Can’t Breathe Mural: The Material Culture of Protest, Antiracism, and Art Education  7. Making Common Ground for Living: Strategies for Meaningful Intervention into Systemic and Structural Inequalities  8. Art Education for Democracy: The Experience of Who is American Today? Project  9. Global Music Communities and Civic Engagement in the Digital Age  Section 2: Engagement: Creating as if Communities Matter  10. We Make the Road by Walking: Exploring Art Activist Pedagogy  11. Reimaginging YAAAS: Supporting the Well-being and Civic Potential of Resettled Refugee Youth Through Collaborative Artmaking  12. AMP!ify | Agitate | Disrupt: Civic Engagement and Political Clarity in Art Education  13. The Landscape is Turning: Narrative Collage as sites or Civic Engagement  14. Engaging the Next Generation of Citizen Artists: How a Museum of Contemporary Art and a Chicago Public High School Partnered to Foster Informed and Activated Youth  15. Reflective Conversations Between Two Experienced Women Art Educators and Their Life-Long Involvement Through Civic Engagement  16. Utilizing Fugitive Pedagogies to Promote Civic Education in De Facto Segregated Schools  17. Combating Racial Pandemics and Advocating for the Invisible Through Art.  18. (Un)learning on the Sidewalk: Reclaiming Civic Engagement and Democracy in Public Art-making  19. Engaging Circles of Reflection: Indigenous Methodologies in Community-based Theatre


    Flávia Bastos is the Distinguished Research Professor in the Arts and Humanities at the University of Cincinnati, USA.

    Doug Blandy is Professor Emeritus in the College of Design, School of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon, USA.

    "This book is an invitation to generate networks of resistance through education through the arts to promote and imagine democracy as a common life project. It aims to prepare children, youth, and adults to be informed citizens able to engage civically in support of democracy. It does not lament and settle into impotence. Instead, it makes evident the role of arts education as a practice of resistance in the face of the current situation of discredited democracy. That is why it is a book for educators and all those who, from institutions related to art and culture, assume the transformative role of the arts."

    -       Fernando Hernández-Hernández, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Visualities and Arts Education, University of Barcelona, Spain.

    "Instructive and compelling, this edited volume brings together ideas, beliefs, and transformative actions from a wide range of artists, arts educators, designers, and activists focused on the advancement of civic engagement within a democratic society.

    Written in a style and format that is engaging and often drawn from the writers’ personal experience, this book challenges readers to explore deeply the decisive roles artists, art educators, and all citizens can play in confronting our world of pressing social and cultural concerns."

    -       Dr. Paul E. Bolin, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Art and Art History, The University of Texas at Austin

    "This book is an essential light in dark times. Within the pages of Promoting Civic Engagement Through Art and Education, readers will receive both practical wisdom and philosophical food for thought. Framing democracy and civic engagement as “future-oriented acts of being and doing with others,” Bastos, Blandy, and the contributing authors have given us a gift through which we might imagine a democratic future that is inclusive, expansive, creative, and just." 

    -       Kim Cosier, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Art Education, and Founder, Milwaukee Visionaries Project