The Duluth Art Institute enriches daily life with dynamic, innovative visual arts programming that upholds excellence and promotes inclusive community participation.

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Birkenstein Art Movement (BAM)

The Birkenstein Art Movement, or BAM, is a program inspired by Jean Birkenstein—an artist, a teacher, and a leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s Chicago. Her home served as a safehouse and community center for rival gangs, where members were free to visit and express themselves through art. 


Seventh graders from the Lincoln Park Middle School participated in 12 art classes and 24 leadership sessions to teach creative problem-solving. The youth met weekly at the DAI Lincoln Park building free of cost, with included meals and transportation vouchers to remove barriers to participation.


Students stretched their abilities to create artworks, learning to appreciate the results of their efforts and believe in their ability to succeed at new things. The program addressed an opportunity gap with youth learning how to voice their concerns and be heard. The youth presented their concerns about a neighborhood park to Duluth City Hall to end the experience, incorporating art to tell their story.


Teachers

Jonathan Thunder, Adam Swanson, Florencia Matamoras, Ashley Hise, Carla Hamilton, Charles Smith, Karen Keenan, Delphi Starr

Support

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.








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