FORM Academy created by UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture supports art education and college aspirations with exercises in “Dreaming Identity.”
The Sculpture Lab in the Broad Art Center was abuzz with activity this summer with preparations for a very special exhibit. But instead of UCLA students creating works of bronze, ceramic, and other traditional media for their respective portfolios, the young artists, who were culled from underserved high schools in Los Angeles, were shaping something less tangible yet by no means less significant: dreams of developing their artistic talent and an understanding of what it means to go to college.
Barbara Drucker, Associate Dean of Community Engagement & Arts Education in UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture, is the founding director of the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE). While leading VAPAE, she established and spearheaded a number of arts education programs that provide UCLA students the opportunity to work with diverse populations of school-age children and youth, such as “Classroom-in-Residence” at the Hammer Museum. This summer, Drucker, along with Ben Refuerzo, Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in the School of Arts and Architecture created the FORM (Fabricate, Originate, Reimagine, and Make) Academy. They saw a need for more quality summer arts experiences in low-income schools. For this inaugural program, the theme of “Dreaming Identity” guided the six-day academy, which was held Aug. 1-6 at UCLA.