Skip to content

On the go

by Jenna Weissman Joselit on June 23rd, 2014

This past week marked the debut of GW’s Program in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts, which has been in the works for quite some time now. Although I’ve written often, at some length and with passion about the program here and elsewhere, I’m delighted to report that nothing quite beats the thrill of implementation.

Mosaic The Institute

Mosaic brochure (click to open)

To set things in motion, GW hosted a three day retreat for students and faculty before the formal start of classes. Actually, to call it a ‘retreat’ isn’t quite apt: ‘embrace’ is more like it. On the go from morning to night, we went behind the scenes at GW’s museum-in-process and gathered in front of the footlights at Theater J; participated in a master class on Jewish art song and another class on trans-media and the Jews; and listened as professionals from a wide variety of institutions from grand museums to aspiring ones spoke freely about the challenges they face, day in and day out. Through it all, the students began to lay claim to and take the measure of the vast array of treasures, both human and institutional, that make up the arts and culture scene in D.C.

Our whirlwind encounter, at once dazzling and dizzying, was called ‘Mosaic,” a testament to the process by which fragments constitute a whole, as well as a call to the students to pick up the pieces that define Jewish culture and to fit, or, as the current lingo would have it, “embed,” them in new patterns of meaning.

It won’t be easy. But the rewards of thinking smartly and imaginatively about loss and absence, demystification and exposure, process and context – to name just a few of the themes that surfaced, time and again, these past few days – are well within reach.

From → art

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.