I had the great pleasure to attend the Fulbright Enrichment Seminar in Philadelphia this year, which focused on Civic Engagement in the Arts. The event started with a highly energetic and passionate presentation from Jane Golden, Executive Director of the City of Philadelphia, Mural Arts program. The students were engaged and excited about their next day’s activity, where they would get to take part in painting one of the thousands of murals that Jane helped bring to Philadelphia.
Following the painting of some of the sections of the murals, which are painted onto parachute cloth and then pieced together and glued to the side of a building, we took a trolley tour of some of the more famous murals in Philadelphia. One of which is a four story painting of former NBA Basketball Player, Dr. J, wearing a suit.
The final day of the seminar concluded with a great presentation by me and Megan Ames from the Institute of International Education (IIE), followed by a dance workshop. The dance workshop was great fun as well as very informative. We got to see how MindLeaps, a new NGO, uses dance education to help better the lives of young people in Rwanda. Following the viewing of a short documentary and discussion about the MindLeaps program, the students were led through one of the same workshops that are used with the Rwandan children.
The Fulbright Enrichment Seminar in Philadelphia was a great opportunity to visit with students from all over the world and to learn about all the great things they are planning to do to increase civic engagement in their own communities.
Matthew Guckenberg works for the Fulbright team at AMIDEAST in Washington, DC.