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College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance / News / Archive / Spring 2011 / FSU To Host Conference On Link Between Art And Design, Social Justice

FSU To Host Conference On Link Between Art And Design, Social Justice

An international gathering of artists, designers, teachers and social justice advocates will converge at The Florida State University on January 17 (Martin Luther King Day) for the 5th Annual Art and Design for Social Justice Symposium. Each year the symposium examines the roles that art and design play in the telling of a broader social narrative. Last year’s event drew participants to FSU from 17 different states and 11 foreign countries.

This year’s symposium will feature keynote speaker Tim Duggan, director of Brad Pitt’s “Make it Right Foundation” in New Orleans –– which, like the symposium, is celebrating its fifth anniversary (since Hurricane Katrina). The lunchtime speaker will be activist and FSU alumnus Jim Towey (B.S. ’78, Accounting; J.D. ’81, Law), founder of “Aging with Dignity” and former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The symposium will also include a performance by the FSU School of Dance ensemble “Dance Repertory Theatre.”

“Our 2011 symposium will focus on how art, design and arts education can be utilized to address social justice issues that confront individuals and their communities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally,” said Florida State interior design Professor Lisa Waxman, one of the event organizers. “As always we’ll aim to generate synergy, create new scholarly initiatives, and inspire collaborative projects among participants.”

The 5th Annual Art and Design for Social Justice Symposium is underwritten by the Florida State University College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance and co-sponsored by the college’s art education and interior design departments. It will be held:

MONDAY, JAN. 17, 2011

7:45 A.M. – 9:45 A.M. - Montgomery Hall
10 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. - New Classroom Building (HCB)


Advance registration is required for all guests, presenters and participants; the deadline is Jan. 14.

For detailed symposium schedule and content information, or to register ($50 for faculty/adults, $15 for students), visit the website

The registration fee includes continental breakfast and lunch. For questions about registration, contact FSU Associate Professor Peter Munton, symposium coordinator, at

For additional information, contact FSU Professor Eric Wiedegreen, co-chairman of the symposium and chairman of the interior design department, at or (850) 645-2504; or FSU Associate Professor Dave Gussak, symposium co-chairman and chairman of the art education department, at or (850) 645-5663.

Banner: Photo from the 2010 Art and Design for Social Justice Symposium courtesy of Ansley Simmons.