Martha McKenna

Martha McKenna is a university professor at Lesley University and the chair of the Arts Education Partnership's Higher Education Working Group.
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Centering Latinx Studies in Arts and Humanities Curriculum and Pedagogy
Martha McKenna
28 September 2021

Like many district leaders across the country, in recent years Lawrence Public Schools administrators in Massachusetts moved to create more culturally responsive curriculum to better serve their school district, which is comprised of a BIPOC majority student population. In the 2020-2021 academic year, Lawrence Public Schools partnered with Lesley University in Cambridge to offer professional […]

Integrating the Arts to Ensure All Students Can Engage in Learning
Martha McKenna
08 September 2020

In our uncertain times, it is critical for all students to have access to arts education — provided by a highly qualified arts-teaching workforce — including classroom teachers, arts specialists, teaching artists, higher education faculty or members of arts and cultural organizations who offer arts education programming. Research shows that students benefit from the opportunity to […]

Title: 2280 Pasos Bajo un Cielo Nublado | Artist: Hernán Jourdan | Medium: Film

When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.

Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music

My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.

Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film

Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.

Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio

La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.

Title: Literaseas | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite and ink on paper with digital edits

Title: A Riddle | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits

Title: False Binaries | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits