In the Spring of 2021 Johnson County Museum, in partnership with the Fine and Performing Arts Department of Johnson County Parks and Recreation, engaged 250 high school juniors from Shawnee Mission North in a three-week virtual interdisciplinary fieldtrip experience. From March 15th- April 2nd, these juniors unpacked the themes of empathy and character development through the lens of the award-winning play A Raisin in the Sun. They learned about the history of Redlining and how it relates to Kansas City real estate, guided by museum historians. Lastly, the field trip culminated in the students synthesizing the topics that they had learned and responding to these topics by creating their own visual arts piece.
The JCPRD Performing Arts Coordinator recruited four actors and teaching artists of color from the Kansas City theatre community and worked with them to film three scenes from the play. These scenes prompted a robust discussion among the classes.
Week two the juniors got to work with Johnson County Museum historians, inspecting various Redlining maps and artifacts from Kansas City. Students got to make connections that the plot points from the play also happened in their own communities. They left the students with the lofty question of “How do we undo Redlining?”
Students got to synthesize all the themes and topics learned thus far and respond with their own visual art piece. During this week students explored artwork from Kerry James Marshall and Jean Michel Basquiat. Students were tasked with creating their own mixed media piece, responding to the themes and topics discussed thus far. What they created ended up being stunning, complex, and poignant.
Interested in booking an onsite or virtual interdisciplinary field trip?