Promoting Equity through Craft: Master Class with Johnson Fellow Tanya Aguiniga

Saturday, June 16, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In 2018, Americans for the Arts awarded the first annual Yankee Johnson Fellowship to public artist and community activist Tanya Aguiniga. This special three-hour master class explores Aguiniga's artistic practice, discusses the tenets that underscore her work, and maps a plan for using principles of equity and community engagement to develop new arts-based community development projects in your own community.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn more about the creative practice and community impact of Johnson Fellow Tanya Aguiniga.
  2. Gain practical knowledge about cultural equity, equitable artmaking, and the important ability to know when you should and should not be part of a community's process.
  3. Map practices onto your home community, and leave with a starting plan of how you might better and more authentically practice arts-based community development at home.



Pam Korza
Co-Director, Animating Democracy
Americans for the Arts
Amherst, Massachusetts

Pam Korza co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. She co-wrote Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture, and the Arts & Civic Engagement Tool Kit. She co-edited Critical Perspectives: Writings on Art & Civic Dialogue, as well as the five-book Case Studies from Animating Democracy. She has consulted and offered workshops and presentations on arts and civic engagement for artists, cultural organizations, funders, and at cross-sector gatherings across the country and in China and South Korea. Pam is co-chair of the Assessing Practices in Public Scholarship research group for Imagining America (IA), a consortium of colleges and universities that advances public scholarship in the humanities, arts, and design and was a two-term member of IA’s National Advisory Board. As a consultant, Pam has partnered with Barbara Schaffer Bacon in organizational planning, program design and evaluation for cultural organizations, state arts agencies, and private foundations. She began her career with the Arts Extension Service (AES)/UMass where she coordinated the National Public Art Policy Project and co-wrote and edited Going Public: A field guide to developments in art in public places. She also directed the New England Film & Video Festival.

2018 Johnson Fellow
Americans for the Arts
Los Angeles, California

Recipient of the 2018 Fellowship is Los Angeles-based artist, Tanya Aguiñiga. Tanya’s work helps others understand the lived experience of the contested US-Mexico border, drawing from her own experience as U.S. born but growing up in Tijuana and crossing the border daily to go to school in the U.S.  Her participation in AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides) demonstrates her interests in the power of community and identity.  AMBOS is a series of artists’ projects implemented in August 2017 created to “recontextualize borders and generate a localized hub for international collaboration.” Tanya recorded the experiences of those traveling across the border to the north every day through the use of a quipu, the Andean Pre-Columbian organizational system.  Commuters on the Mexican side were given two strands of thread and asked to anonymously tie them into a knot.  ‘The strands represent the US and Mexico’s relationship to one another.  Each knot was tied to other knots.  The cumulative daily bundled knots were then organized into a large-scale quipu artwork and displayed on a billboard above the AMBOS storefront hub.