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Lemieux Library
Lemieux Library

Arts Leadership Book Club


The Arts Leadership Book Club features interdisciplinary workshops, each tied to an academic or popular book and led by a faculty member, that expand engagements with professional development, intersectionality, and equity in the arts sector such as arts leadership strategies, people of color-led ensemble work, and decolonial approaches to arts & gentrification. Hosted at Seattle University, the Book Club is influenced by the Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm, with space for engaging experience, reflection, and action to produce a more equitable arts sector. Each session is structured with the assumption that participants have read the book (or an excerpt) prior to attending, and are interested in connections in the book to self, to arts leadership, and to change.  

The Arts Leadership community is invited to participate in our second annual book club series, supported by the Endowed Mission Fund at Seattle University. The series will provide space to dive deeper into one's process and positionality as an intersectional art leader. The 2020-21 theme is Anti-Racist and Decolonial Arts in Seattle.

Read more to find about what to expect, whose invited, why we do it, and past and upcoming events.

What to expect?

Book club events have asked participants to discuss, apply, and imagine in dialogue with the text and critical issues in the arts sector. What does this look like? Past book club events have included vibrant discussion, applied learning (through collage-making, theatre-devising, and neighborhood walks), and learning from community partners such as youth leaders. Participants should expect to engage their minds, bodies, and imaginations.

Who is invited?

You! Book club events are open to all, including current students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. These events center our commitment to equity and to community-building across students, faculty, staff, alumni, and arts leaders.

Why do we do it?

Conceived of in 2018 by Roxy Hornbeck, Assistant Professor, Arts Leadership at Seattle University, the Arts Leadership Book Club series centers professional development, intersectionality, and equity to dive deeper into processes and positionalities as intersectional arts leaders. The series followed the Arts Leadership 2018 program review process, which involved the creation of a new learning objective: to “develop a culturally competent perspective on the arts by engaging through an intersectional lens towards social justice.”  

The overall purpose is to engage relationships between arts and equity in the context of the greater Seattle area. Through chosen texts, we intend to explicitly center discourses and practices of racial equity in dialogue with the arts. Thus, these book club events not only include conversation on topics such as archiving work by feminist artists and the role of arts in gentrification, but also embodied engagement such as an oral history workshop or an urban ethnographic walking practice to engage our surrounding community through issues of artistic practice, race, equity, and space.  

These events—with a focus on context, embodied experience, and reflection—are heavily influenced by the Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm. They not only center the context of systems of oppression in the arts sector, but they also model means of creating a more just and humane world through examining experience, and making space for reflection, action, and evaluation within and beyond the arts sector.