On October 5, 2013, Urban Bush Women came to Purchase for a collaborative workshop with Art+Design professor Christopher Robbins to offer a day of intense, hands-on activities exploring the practical intersection of public art, dance, activism, sociology, and leadership.
Students from Dance, Art+Design, and Liberal Arts and Sciences learned Community Action Research techniques including collaborative mapping, forming focus groups, and conducting interviews, and explored principles of entering, building, and exiting communities. The workshop interwove dance and group activities with more traditional lectures and discussions.
Urban Bush Women has been at the forefront of activating the intersections of professional and community art-making, civic engagement, leadership, and group dynamics for over two decades. They facilitate multiple workshop possibilities for a variety of different groups and contexts from dance studio to board retreat, using a unique blend of dialogue and movement. Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar founded the group in 1984, seeking to bring the histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance.
Pictured: Purchase students develop a collaborative map as part of their Community Action Research training.