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Transcending Tradition: The Role of Performance Art in Elementary Education

Research Open House 2021

Martha Wilson
Harley Spiller, Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.
Naimah Hassan and Marianne R. Petit
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, History of Art and Design
Seed Grant 2019-2020

Artist, educator, and Franklin Furnace founder Martha Wilson’s Transcending Tradition assessed the impact of Naimah Hassan’s fifteen week performance art workshop for fourth graders at Brooklyn’s PS20.

When NYC schools went remote, Naimah rewrote lessons to share immediate, whole-bodied means through which her students conveyed their experiences. With performance art, the person who is IN the art IS the art. In this case Naimah and her students created custom fables, gaining firsthand benefits by examining their lives within aesthetic, critical, and constructive context.