Press Releases

Christopher Robbins' Art for Social Change Class Heads to Whitney Museum

Date Released: 3/25/2011

Professor Christopher Robbins conducted a Community Action Research Workshop at the Whitney Museum with students from Art+Design. Details.

Students Aaron Krach, Juliet Orbach, Julie Novello, Meg Welch and Nicky Befus explored some of the techniques Professor Robbins has encountered in creating his action-and collaboration-based works over the past ten years in this session at the Whitney Museum.

The Whitney workshop focused on PRA techniques-known as Participatory Rapid Appraisal/ Participatory Learning & Action/ Action Research.


These are ways of exploring a community from the perspectives of the people in that community. The techniques included community mapping, transect walks and other ways for getting a foothold in new communities. 


Professor Robbins works on the uneasy cusp of public art and community development, using a carefully twisted work-process to craft awkwardly intimate social collaborations. His Art for Social Change Course is new and brings Fine Art, Sociology, Humanities and Technology students together for an intense hands-on program that produces social actions in the town of Port Chester.  


The class was part of the Trade School event Coincidence of Wants, which took place at the Whitney Museum on March 25, 2011. Trade School is a non-traditional learning environment where students barter with teachers. The school offers classes on techniques and tactics in exchange for trades of goods, services or skills. No money allowed!