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United We Stand: How One Art Education Alum Raised Voices, Opened Minds as a Student Teacher

Posted June 27, 2017 in AlumniArt Education

As he began the final semester of his student teaching placement at Northview High School in Grand Rapids, Mich., Darius Baldwin wanted to do something to help his students see beyond America’s divisive political landscape and understand the importance of working together. So, he turned to a powerful and familiar tool: creative expression.

In early 2017, the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) alumnus (’16, BFA Art Education) began working with Northview students, faculty, and staff to shoot an uplifting music video for a special rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Baldwin, a musician as well as an art teacher, performed the music, while Northview students provided backup vocals and displayed artwork they’d created depicting icons of equality and social justice.

Baldwin is now an art teacher at Gwynn Park High School in Maryland, but his work at Northview High School continues to resonate. A recent article from School News Network explores Baldwin’s hands-on, collaborative approach to engaging students’ hearts and minds, and tells the story behind the “America the Beautiful” video they created together.

Learn more about KCAD’s Art Education program at kcad.edu/arteducation