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Susan O'Rourke | April 12, 2022

The Arts can encourage users to engage their senses and explore new worlds, create dialogue or space for contemplation, and allow multiple perspectives and talents to shine. UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz stated the benefits of the Arts perfectly in his recent communication to the UNC community about a campus initiative, Arts Everywhere. He said “Art is powerful. It can be playful or troubling, inspiring or unsettling, joyous or somber. It can be all those things at once, offering truths about the human experience that are impossible to share any other way. It is vital because it helps to make sense of the world around us.” UNC World View joins Chancellor Guskiewicz and the UNC campus goal to support art and culture in our state and encourages educators to keep the arts alive in their classrooms and to see the opportunities of interdisciplinary studies, from geometry lessons analyzing art and architecture from around the world to ecology lessons that also study at attitudes towards Nature depicted landscape paintings.

One example we found was a exhibit hosted by the arts organization Embracing Our Differences. This spring they held their annual exhibit in Sarasota, FL to help students engage with global perspectives through art. The organization works “[t]hrough the transformative power of the arts, [to] educate and inspire to create a better world.” The organization invites artists, particularly students from around the globe to submit their works and inspirational quotes for the chance to be displayed on one of 50 billboards at the exhibit. The organization notes that:

The 2022 Exhibit had an impressive response to the call for artwork and inspirational quotes, with 17,413 entries pouring in from 123 countries and 47 states. Students from 423 schools around the world submitted artwork or quotes to the juried exhibit and more than 65% of submissions were from students.

They stress the power of global arts to help students develop more complex understandings of people from diverse backgrounds. The works offer a chance for students and visitors to examine art created from another’s worldview and representing another’s concerns or joys.

Although art can take many forms, including visual or performing, one place to start for visual and literary arts is at a museum! Check out the following museum-based educational resources to introduce your students to global perspectives through art: