Amphi Mural Design: Reaching Community Consensus | Michael Schwartz

Currently I’m teaching at Woods Memorial Library, situated in the Amphi neighborhood in midtown Tucson. The after school program for middle and high school youth was requested by the local neighborhood association as a way to build capacity, reduce crime and hopefully foster new leadership. Amphi is one of the highest crime areas of our […]

LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #960 | Michael B. Schwartz

Over the past several months my Teaching Artist experiences have been almost completely outside the classroom. I have been working with a group of fifteen youth ages 14 – 22 on a series of place-based projects such as murals, days of Arts Service, community dialogue sessions and performances. Often we are joined by parents, neighbors, […]

Teaching Between the Lines | Michael B. Schwartz

The dilemma Linda Bruning describes in her recent ALT/space post Funding, Social Responsibility and the Teaching Artist is bouncing around in my head. As Teaching Artists we have to deal with the pressures of controlled chaos in making art with huge groups of people, in complicated neighborhoods, with limited finding and sometime we inadvertently step […]

Together We Thrive Mural Project | Michael B. Schwartz

January 8, 2011 started out like any other day in sunny Tucson, Arizona. The old Pueblo was abuzz that morning, the mild winter drawing annual snowbirds and festivals.  A few hours later multiple gunshots at the “Congress on Your Corner” would shock and tear local social and cultural fabric and shake our national identity.  U.S. […]

Start the Peace Stop the Violence / Michael B. Schwartz

“Start the Peace Stop the Violence” is the theme of this mural. Over 150 neighbors gathered on November 5th  for a community paint day facilitated by teaching artist Michael B Schwartz. The mural design emerged from a series of community conversations in South Phoenix. The mural is part of a comprehensive campaign by TRUCE, Arizonans […]

Restorative Practices: Community Arts Integration

As I drive through the streets of Tucson and Phoenix it feels at times as though I’m on another planet. There are long blocks of single story strip malls, clusters of apartment complexes, convenience stores and micro housing developments looking out of place, everything is designed around the automobile. Walking several blocks in 109-degree weather […]

But it’s a Dry Lavender, Crimson, Gold Heat | Michael B. Schwartz

The end of the school years means its assessment, reflection and celebration time.  I know we did our job when students want to know more about specific techniques and concepts. With few students getting a formal arts education in Tucson many of our participants arrive drawing stick figures and depart wanting to know more about […]