Art21 Extended Play

Art21 Educator Joe Fusaro Teaching “Power” at Nyack High School

Embarrassing as it is, this is the first video I’ve ever made. I am immersed in the world of film production each day, yet focused on the Education side of Art21. It’s been a long journey to connect the two.

Where does an idea start? I don’t think it was just mine, but I was interested in some way to better articulate and share what was happening out there in the world when people actually saw and used Art21. How does one go about making a film of that moment when teachers, students, artists, and the casual viewer are confronted with artists talking about their work, the ideas behind it, and then attempt to DO something with that experience?

We needed a willing guinea pig for our first attempt to capture one of these stories. Joe Fusaro, Senior Education Advisor and weekly contributor to the Teaching with Contemporary Art Column, proved willing and more than able.

Joe told us about a unit he was teaching his 9th grade studio art classes at Nyack High School on the theme of Power. We jumped at the chance to be flies on the wall, with very large cameras and sound equipment. And it was not easy. We stumbled through interviews, and many of them. We awkwardly wrangled equipment while trying to remain unobtrusive and unintimidating. Room schedules were changed. Much paperwork was signed. We drove over the Tappan Zee Bridge countless times.

But the process was part of the journey and well worth the results. We are eternally grateful to Joe, his students, and his colleagues at Nyack High School for their patience, their generosity, and their continual support of this fledgling idea. We’ve gotten the production bug and we’re itching to make more. And on these next ones, we’ll be a little less nervous. We’ll keep it conversational. We’ll enjoy the process even more.