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Mending Walls in K-12: Teaching Empathy & Creative Collaboration

Mending Walls Workshop
The Mending Walls RVA Mural Project will partner with Partners in the Arts for an online teacher workshop, with the support of VPM.

Hamilton Glass, Richmond artist and founder of the Mending Walls RVA Mural Project, and Partners in the Arts, an integrated education program at the University of Richmond, are offering the free, online workshop, Mending Walls in K-12: Teaching Empathy & Creative Collaboration, with the support of VPM, on September 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Glass founded Mending Walls in 2020 as a response to the community unrest following the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing conversation around racial and social justice in our country. Mending Walls pairs artists of different cultural backgrounds to create murals that not only honor the citizens’ frustration but spark important conversations in our community about our individual lived experiences.

The artists’ collaboration always begins with a conversation aimed at empathy and healing.

In this two-hour online session, Glass and Partners in the Arts bring the Mending Walls method to Virginia K-12 educators. The hope is to provide a framework wherein students build empathy through discourse and merge diverse approaches to create something together.

Joining Glass are five local artists who participated in Mending Walls 2020 and whose murals remain visible throughout RVA: Alfonso Peres Acosta, Nico Cathcart, Matt Lively, Austin Miles, and Noah Scalin.

Educators will explore prompts and strategies for students based on how the artists worked through difficult conversations about race, status, and their personal experiences. Participants will then discover how the outcomes of those conversations were utilized to incorporate artists’ differences and similarities to create something new for the community.

Participants will also preview portions of the upcoming Mending Walls: The Documentary, produced by 19Red and executive producer VPM. The documentary depicts the journey of the 32 artists who created the 16 Mending Walls’ murals in 2020 and will premiere on VPM, September 16 at 8:00 p.m.

Mending Walls in K-12: Teaching Empathy & Creative Collaboration will take place on Tuesday, September 14, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Spots for this teacher workshop are limited, so register online soon and only if you plan to participate. A recording of the workshop will be available for all who register, including those on the waitlist.

Register online at Partners in the Arts.

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