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From 2020-2021, I taught a year-long group studies seminar that focused on writing critically engaging blog articles about the performing art season occurring at the Wexner Center for Performing Arts at OSU.


Each week, I made space for students to have open and productive dialogue about current political and cultural events. Through this practice of listening, we collectively learned from each other about a diverse range of relevant topics paired with the performances we witnessed.


We discussed how these topics affected ourselves and our communities. These insights were included in their published articles.


When funding was removed for this course, I led students in continuing their writing explorations through a student-led website platform, and received funding to create an encompassing and reflective short film, Performance, Interpreted, that houses their personal stories of their research and experiences in the course.

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Image of student blog, Performance, Interpreted., that I helped design and
create for the Writing About Performing Arts Seminar course.

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Excerpt from July 26, 2021 Read, Watch Listen blog post.

Read the full article here.

"I had the pleasure of working with a group of talented students through The Ohio State University’s group studies seminar, “Writing About the Performing Arts.” As the 2020–2021 graduate teaching associate for this course, I was often asked the question, “What is that course about?” At first, it took me a while to provide a succinct answer, as the project was a collage of so many experiences. After a year of planning, teaching, and now reflecting upon this course, I am happy to finally have an accurate answer based on my own understanding: this course was an opportunity to experience art in conversation with life.

This project, originated by Dr. Karen Eliot from the Department of Dance, started during an afternoon conversation at the Wexner Center’s Heirloom Café among Dr. Karen Eilot, Alana Ryder, and Lane Czaplinski. They explored how the Wexner Center for the Arts could be more engaged with the student population at Ohio State. The project bloomed as Eliot received the Ratner Distinguished Teachings Award, which funded a year-long group studies seminar course along with an insightful student writing publication, Risk Is a Relative Term. The course continued with a second cohort of students, this time experiencing an entirely virtual performing arts season during the 2020-21 academic year, with 12 published online articles written by students. This project is now transitioning yet again, from an undergraduate course to a student organization due to the massive budgetary changes resulting from the pandemic. But as many artists know, lack of funding won’t prohibit generating creative engagements from this group in the future."

-Jacquie Sochacki-Pittman


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