Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A20. Social Empowerment through the Performing Arts

People around the world use music, dance, theatre and visual art traditions to inspire significant social change at local, national and international levels. Expressive collaborations have the power to illuminate and address controversial issues with the potential to unite people of diverse backgrounds and life experience. We will examine approaches to outreach and social justice, consider the impact of colonialism on philanthropy, and see how people are questioning conventional charitable paradigms. We will study interactive projects within the arts where people from a variety of class, ethnic, and national affiliations can learn from and empower one another. Readings on cross-cultural engagement within the empowerment model and research on relevant traditions will inform discussions aimed to nurture sensitivity and understanding for work across distinctive cultural perspectives. Students will participate in established outreach programs and will envision and design an empowerment-based project. Reaching out to connect with and support people here and around the globe is the guiding motivation behind this course.

Julie SearlesJulie Searles
Instructor of Music, Director of World Dance