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ACC STL Members Learn About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Saint Louis Art Museum
Artful Observation with a Diversity Lens program is aimed to help participants develop their awareness of issues related to attentiveness, empathy, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
By: AMM Communications LLC
Artful Observation is a project spearheaded by the Saint Louis University (SLU) Art History Program to establish curricular and research programs based on evidence-based methods about utilizing the visual arts to help students and professionals develop their awareness of issues related to attentiveness, empathy, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The facilitator, Dr. Cathleen Fleck, Ph.D., Saint Louis University, Chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and Associate Professor of Art History, used Artful Observation techniques to enhance bias and observational awareness and facilitate conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Art served as the catalyst to encourage conversations among the 20 members who attended.
"The Artful Observation session that I planned with the ACC at the Saint Louis Art Museum was meant to use art as a tool to engage the group and reinforce two key ideas about observation and about diversity and equity in society. First was to ask the participants to explain what they were seeing, breaking down that process of seeing as a physical act informed by our social and cultural circumstances. The attorneys quickly absorbed the main point that one's own way to see is not the only way. Second, we concentrated on how certain artworks can reveal systems of discrimination and exclusion based on race, class, and gender that have long existed in our society," said Fleck.
Lisa Savoy, Legal Counsel, Experian, and 2023 ACC STL Social Justice Coalition Chairperson, said that the membership values the diversity programming that the ACC STL hosts and tends to have great turnout for events. The Artful Observation Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program was especially popular because Dr. Fleck presented diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) material from an artist's perspective, which included a discussion of the moment in time and history, the individual artist's training, and other aspects of the artist's background, and the significance of the medium used for the artist's particular vision. The program was limited to 20 spots and was so popular among members that there was a waitlist of members who wanted to attend.
Ann Marie Mayuga