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Community Outreach

Frequently Offered Courses:

  • Creativity & Art of Crossing Borders
    Historically, small puppet companies traveled from one community to the next, and from one culture to the next, creating, mixing and sharing in miniature the stories of those peoples. Always mixing the folk and fine arts, the bawdy with the sublime, the satirical with the politic, the art of puppetry has often been considered subversive for it's tendencies to cross over the border. "Creativity and the Art of Crossing Borders" will first explore the international folk and fine art of puppetry and then through hands on studios and workshops be an incubator for the students creative self expression. Taught by the internationally renowned Open Hand Puppet Theater. The course considers the role and history of puppets as agents for social change.--Geoffrey Navias

Specially Offered Courses:

In the spring of 2008, Felicia McMahon offered Honors/SOL Folk Arts, Festival and Public Display. The goal of this interactive course is to design a community folk arts festival component for Mayfest 2008. Students begin by exploring aesthetics in everyday life, i.e. those group experiences created by humans that are regarded as aesthetically pleasing to a particular community. Our emphasis will be on the process of recontextualization and hands-on collaborative projects in which students work as teams to plan and implement a folk arts festival.

In the fall of 2006, Suzanne L. Baldwin of the Department of Earth Sciences conducted an earth sciences mineralogy course with a focus upon designing teaching units for middle school students. Click Here to see pictures of their visit to fourth graders.

In the spring of 04, Soling offered a course in Creativity in the Arts and the Academé that gave students a chance to experience and document their creative process through journal writing, and through developing a series of characters that were conceived in their journals and brought to life as puppets, designed under the guidance and instruction of Geoffrey Navias, artistic director of the Open Hand Puppet Theater. Students created the characters and wrote original scripts for two puppet plays. They also produced a video documentary of the whole process, which was presented at the Seymour Elementary School on a large screen.

The eleven students in the class also held a performance for children in the local Westside community through "A Show of Puppets" on Wed., April 28, 2004 for an audience of over 200 children from various after school programs in that area including the ALAS Program, the Boys & Girls Club, The Spanish Action League's Youth Center, Huntington and Catholic Charities."The object of the course was also to share the experience through involvement with the community, so we chose to work with children, not just to present a puppet show for them, but to get them involved in the actual production. They created their own puppets which have been integrated into the scripts and they were in charge of building the sets that we designed," said Tere Paniagua, instructor of this Soling course on Creativity.


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