Pieces of Now: Art, History, Community


This is different from other exhibitions in the museum. It is about NOW. It is also unfinished, because we are in the middle of the story. What happens when a history museum takes on immediate local events through the arts? The Greensboro History Museum virtual exhibition “Pieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations” demonstrates how paying attention to the local in the context of larger events and global artistic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter marries the arts, arts education and history. From face masks to storefront murals demanding racial justice, 2020 has seen amazing expressions across the Gate City and the world. “Pieces of Now…” features street art created as part of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests along with photos, objects and video interviews with artists, organizers and protesters, among them many teachers. In this live session, organized by Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education, meet three people crucial to the museum’s response to collect, connect and collaborate to create the exhibit and hear what they are learning about community engagement as a vital education tool. Participants can also engage with exhibition artwork to invite conversation about incorporating local arts, folklife and culture into arts education programs.


Carol Ghiorsi Hart, Director, Greensboro History Museum
Paddy Bowman, Founding Director, Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education
Rodney Dawson, Curator of Education, Greensboro History Museum
Virginia Holmes, Artist Activist, Haus of Lacks Arts Cooperative

Access additional 2021 AEP Virtual Gathering resources here.

Author profile

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