On Friday, March 21st, at 3:00 p.m., a small band of students at East High turned their school "inside out." Although East High School is now 63% “minority” with Latino, Pacific Islander, Asian, and African American students and student refugees from around the world in its classrooms, many in Salt Lake still imagine the school as it used to be--predominantly white.
These students, members of the new Clemente Humanities Course taught at East, want to show East High's true face to the world. Students used ordinary wheat paste ordinary wheat paste and long handled brooms to paste 100 large format (3' x 5') posters of their classmates on the exterior walls of the school, along 1300 East and 800 South. The black and white portraits were selected to reflect the current demographics of the student body in a visually stunning public art exhibit.
Calling their public art project "We Are One," the students want to celebrate the rich diversity at their school, encourage mutual respect and unity, and spark conversations about the changing face of Salt Lake City.
Inspired by their study of French street artist JR's international Inside Out project (http://www.insideoutproject.net/) in their art history class, Clemente students have been led by Jorge Rojas, their instructor, who helped them develop the project, which included inviting a photographer to take photos of over 300 East High students after a multicultural assembly on February 28th. Under Rojas's guidance, students also created their own video about their project with Spy Hop, a nonprofit organization in Salt Lake City, teaching media to young people. The portraits were created by Trish Empey, a Salt Lake City photographer and artist with an emphasis on black and white portraiture.
The We Are One Inside Out Project is a project of the Utah Humanities Council in partnership with East High School. The Clemente Course that inspired the project is a partnership between UHC, East High, East High AVlD, the University of Utah Honors College, Westminster College's Honors Program, and University Neighborhood Partners. Alternative Visions has provided the generous support to UHC that makes the Clemente Course possible. For more information, contact Jean Cheney at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801.359.9670.
Media Coverage of the “We Are One Inside Out Project
- Fox 13 News coverage of Clemente Course students’ public art project the “We Are One Inside Out Project”
- KUER radio interview with Jean Cheney and Jorge Rojas on the “We Are One Inside Out Project”
- KCPW radio interview with Jean Cheney about Clemente Course
- 24SaltLake initial story on “We Are One Inside Out Project”
- 24SaltLake follow-up coverage of the “We Are One Inside Out Project”
- Salt Lake City School District coverage of the “We Are One Inside Out Project”
- KUER radio story on Clemente Students’ gracious response to vandalism of the We Are One project
For a closer look at the We Are One Inside Out Project, including photos of the installation and all of the student portraits, click here!
Join the conversation about the We Are One Project by taking a quick survey. You could win a gift card to Itunes! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/easthigh
Clemente Course in the Humanities
The Clemente Course is an accredited interdisciplinary humanities course for underserved 10th and 11th grade students who are part of the AVID program. Taught primarily by college professors, the course is intellectually rigorous, focusing on significant multicultural works using primary documents, group discussion, writing, and group projects as the basis for learning, and is consistent with Utah’s new Common Core curriculum. The pilot course is underway at East High School in Salt Lake City. Stay tuned for information about this life-changing course and the terrific students who have decided to be involved.
Media Coverage for the Clemente Course
- Westminster College article describes hopes for the Clemente Course
- KCPW interview with Jean Cheney about the Clemente Course