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VCUarts Offers Interdisciplinary Course on Dance, Design, and Community Justice

Design professor Wes Taylor and dance professor MK Abadoo launch interdisciplinary course that helps students facilitate dialogues on power dynamics through community-building.

VCUarts faculty members Wes Taylor and MK Abadoo in Dance, Design and Community Justice Shared Practice. Photo courtesy of VCUarts.

Wes Taylor and MK Abadoo have creative practices rooted in collaboration. Taylor, a graphic design and Art Foundation professor, is a lead artist in the Detroit-based Complex Movements collective. iCubed fellow and dance professor Abadoo choreographs performance works using the anti-racist values and principles of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Angela’s Pulse and Urban Bush Women.

They took a similar approach when developing their new course: Dance, Design, and Community Justice. The class introduced principles of community building as creative and artistic practices, and discussed how to establish intentional partnerships. They fostered bold and compassionate dialogue about power dynamics, and developed shared structures for mitigating them. With further guidance from Free Egunfemi, a local historical strategist and founder of UntoldRVA, they pulled historical issues from Richmond’s past into the present and made connections to the contemporary media landscape.

“The students started to understand just how effective facilitation is,” Taylor says, “and how that can be a powerful tool as an artist.”

VCUarts faculty are leading global creative practices at the top-ranked arts and design school located in Richmond, Virginia. Students at VCUarts are taught by world-renowned scholars like Wes Taylor and MK Abadoo and have dedicated studio spaces, international travel opportunities, and learn and collaborate with visiting artists.

Richmond is the thriving and affordable capital of Virginia, located in the number one state in the U.S. to do business according to CNBC (2019), with easy access to arts communities such as D.C. and New York.

For more information about creative daring at VCUarts, visit arts.vcu.edu/creative-daring.