Learn how how art contributes to social movements and positive change while exploring local and global artistic and cultural expressions.

In the Art in Action program, teens bring to life everyday art objects and artifacts, explore local cultural expressions, link creative communication and social movements in a global context, and use art-making and art-appreciation to take action.

In this interactive program teens shape their own learning experience – they set the pace, decide when and where they engage, and make choices about the content that appeals to them
most. This course allows teens to

  • Learn key concepts through short, structured, engaging, and highly visual lessons
  • Expand their global perspective by exploring carefully selected videos and articles related to global hunger
  • Exchange stories with their global peers to deepen their understanding of one another and explore their similarities and differences
  • Contribute to their local and global communities by developing a plan for local actions that have global impact
  • *Add-on interactive activities available to select at registration

Due to the generosity of our funding partners, our Student to World programs are FREE. Sign up today!

  • Ages: 13-19
  • Self-directed: Teens navigate independently, selecting themes and resources of interest to them
  • Content-rich: 6-8 hours of engaging resources and creative activities for each theme
  • Flexible:​ Start and stop anytime
  • Online: Mobile, tablet, desktop
  • Safe:​ Private, secure platform

Program breakdown

Aligns with History/Social Studies, English, and Art courses

Course modules:

  1. #EverydayArtifacts: Teens explore art movements around the world and share stories about an artistic artifact in their lives
  2. #EverydayLocalArts: Teens explore local artistic expressions and share stories rooted in their local culture(s) and community
  3. #EverydayGlobalArts: Teens explore global works of art with a social message and share stories about these pieces
  4. #EverydayAction: Teens design an artistic intervention to address a compelling social issue

Learning objectives:

  1. View different types of art and reflect on how everyday artistic artifacts in their lives carry personal and cultural meaning, and stories worth sharing
  2. Learn the different elements of culture and how they manifest in artistic expressions in their local communities
  3. Explore how art expresses a person’s lived experience and culture
  4. Create art (in the format of their choice) to tell a story about their local culture
  5. Learn how art in all its forms can influence social movements and affect change in societies
  6. Explore the power of art and storytelling in bringing people together from different cultural backgrounds and perspectives.
  7. Explore the social impact of art by creating artistic representations of and/or interventions to an issue or topic of global concern.

Course components:

  1. Mini-lessons
  2. Video content
  3. Learning checks
  4. Audio narration
  5. Youth narration
  6. Story Share assignments
  7. Global repository of stories

This course aligns to:

  • National Arts Standards
  • Asia Society Global Competencies
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Casel Social & Emotional Learning
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals

Student to World encouraged my students to write more

A student of mine always writes funny stories, when she started the Art in Action program she realized that a lot of other writers have the same style she has. This encouraged her to write more. The program also helped her with increasing her vocabulary

Stories used as an opportunity to raise

I really liked how [global peers] used their stories as an opportunity to raise awareness for an issue they are passionate about. [One student] talked about how he was able to overcome bullying, which really inspired [me]. [Another student] talked about the cruel oppression of Muslims in Burma, which really convinced me to include awareness in my story.

An opportunity to see something beyond
the world where they live

The thing that I most enjoy in implementing [the program] with high school students is the opportunity for them to see something beyond the world where they live…

Why Storytelling?

“Everything – faith, science, love – needs a story for people to find it plausible.”

-Adam Gopnick, The New Yorker.

In order for youth to find each other’s lives plausible, Student to World leverages the power of storytelling. Rather than have global youth share opinions and information about themselves with one another, we engage them in sharing stories with one another.

The stories are often brief, yet impactful, revealing deep truths through small moments, bringing social issues to life through day-to-day realities a deep-rooted global issue.

The power of storytelling for enduring learning–in which students retain the information they learn beyond the classroom and course is well established in research literature in the fields of communication, cultural studies and neuroscience. The brain reacts to stories based on triggers to the neurons that evoke empathy. Stories help students connect across great distance and difference.

Standards Alignment

Aligns with History/Social Studies, English, and Art courses

Anchor Standard #1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard #2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard #3. Refine and complete artistic work.
Anchor Standard #4. Select, analyze and interpret artistic work for presentation.
Anchor Standard #5. Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
Anchor Standard #6. Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Anchor Standard #7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Anchor Standard #8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Anchor Standard #10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Anchor Standard #11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and
historical context to deepen understanding.
Investigate the world
Recognize perspectives
Communicate ideas
Take Action
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Creativity and Innovation
Information Literacy
Media Literacy
Technology Literacy
Flexibility and Adaptability
Initiative and Self-Direction
Productivity and Accountability
Leadership and Responsibility
Self Awareness
Self Management
Responsible Decision Making
Goal 4: Quality Education
Goal 10
: Reduced Inequalities
Goal 16
: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

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