Academics all across the U.S. have placed their usual instruction on hold to acknowledge Scholar Strike (#ScholarStrike), a movement in higher education asking teachers and academic staff to pause usual business in efforts to share in discussions and instruction that promote racial justice. The two-day period on September 8th and 9th was first created following the shooting of Jacob Blake by the police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Scholar Strike has facilitated countless materials being shared across the academic community, including materials created within the CSULB Film and Electronic Arts Department.
The CSULB School of Art Faculty and Staff worked overtime at the end of August to put together materials packets for their students. After spending much of the summer strategizing on ways to enhance the virtual experience for our visual arts students by creating equipment and supplies that allow students to work more fully on their arts training and practice from home, and provides a deeper and more meaningful way for our faculty to interact with the work students are creating, a variety of creative problem-solving solutions emerged.
For decades, the CSULB College of the Arts has gathered staff and faculty together for an opening meeting at the start of each academic year. This year the gathering took place remotely, with more than 150 College of the Arts colleagues attending from their homes, phones, and their quarantine spaces, and our College leadership shared plans and a vision for moving forward and thriving in this difficult time.
Incoming College of the Arts Dean Robin Bargar, originally from Ohio, comes to CSULB from the University of Salford in Greater Manchester, England, where he served as the university’s director of digital and creative industry collaboration, and taught in the School of Arts Media with a joint appointment in the School of Computing Sciences.
As artists/educators/scholars/colleagues within the CSU System we accept the vital responsibility entrusted to us to create educational constructs for future members of the arts community. We prepare our students not only to explore and reconceive ideologies within their chosen disciplines, but through their art to shape, impact and remold our communities and culture.