An opportunity to discuss and share ideas on service-learning in the arts

The 6th Service-Learning in the Arts Meeting took place in the afternoon of 24th and 25th August in the context of the 26th International Service-Learning Conference.

Open for the first time to all participants, this meeting has become a space for discussion and exchange for executives, educators, students, civil servants and specialists interested in the connection between service-learning and arts education. There were 47 participants from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru on this particular occasion.

On 24th August, Pablo Daniel Buján Matas, coordinator of the Support Programme “Service-Learning in the Arts” (CLAYSS), began the meeting with a brief presentation. Then, the panel “Situation of Arts Education in Argentina and Regional Prospects” counted with the participation of Ximena Martínez (Coordinator of Arts Education, Ministry of Education, Argentina), Isabella Alchorne and Sofía Carvalho (CLAYSS, Brazil), Juan Sebastián Nieto Serrate (CLAYSS, Colombia) and Silvia Mindreau (CLAYSS, Peru). Each speaker gave a brief overview of the current situation of this modality in their countries and then provided details on the opportunities that the laws give to Arts Education in each country to develop service-learning projects integrated with the Arts. The panel discussion was moderated by Alejandra Catibiela from CLAYSS. She emphasized the importance of the interventions: “the synergies that contribute to creating a Latin American concept of service-learning in the arts. This includes promoting the right to arts education, encouraging student participation from an inclusive perspective, and establishing connections with the community to build identities; the aim is to strengthen the key aspects of service-learning pedagogy”.  

The second part of the afternoon was devoted to presenting some of the experiences of the programme. The speakers were Camila Gallardo Laffont (CEBJA education centre 3-128 Marilin Penna de Ferro, Mendoza, Argentina), Bárbara Daniela Guedes Rodrigues, Isabel Cristina Santana Kakuda, Andréia Maria Farah Vicente (E E Professor Sebastião de Oliveira Rocha, São Paulo, Brazil), Celia Rosa Rivera Peña (IE Diego Fallón, Tolima, Colombia), Yeiny Zulay Osorio Cortés (IE Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Tolima, Colombia) and Miguel Angel Agurto Silva (ENSAD Guillermo Ugarte Chamorro, Lima, Peru). Once the presentations were over, Mateo de Urquiza (CLAYSS Arts Programme) invited participants to reconsider some terms (such as solidarity, artistic practice and the building of common ground). He also highlighted how “the arts open the way from the sensitive in the dynamics of service-learning projects, making them an inalienable right of the contemporary subject, not just a training tool.”

On Friday, 25th August, there was a workshop focused on the interrelation between the arts and service-learning in different projects, aiming to work on knowledge construction in the field and the disciplines that are part of it from the point of view of the possible approaches of a project of this kind. Alejandra Catibiela and Mateo de Urquiza gave a brief presentation of the concept, followed by three groups of participants working on the analysis of projects, which resulted in rich discussions.

During the conclusions based on that work, Mateo de Urquiza highlighted those places where art and Service-Learning projects intervene: “To rethink the space, but also the time, a service-learning in the arts project requires, to imagine them as a possible starting point for identification/disidentification processes, decolonial practices and envision new futures for the community”.