From Dean Paul Kassel

June 1, 2020
We awoke this morning with news of continuing protests.  Today, we wish to reiterate the campus commitment to racial justice and acknowledge the special obligation the arts and artists have in seeing justice done. Paul Kassel The vision of CVPA for the last four years has been to be engaged, inclusive, boundless and strong.  All these virtues are important as we work together to make seen, heard, touched and felt the toll hatred, violence, racism and injustice has taken on our community, but indeed, most particularly the toll on our brothers and sisters in the black community.

Now, more than ever, our art and artistry must be engaged in conversations about equality and social justice. Now, more than ever, our art and artistry must include those voices and visions that have been most marginalized.

Now, more than ever, our art and artistry must be boundless in where and how and with whom our work happens.

Now, more than ever, we all must be strong to make sure the art and artistry of the next generation—a diverse and inclusive generation—is not lost.

If you are feeling disengaged, excluded, bounded and losing strength, please know that we are here for you—we hear you, see you, feel you—and will do all we can to support you.  As well, if you wish to increase your engagement, wish to open your work and self more broadly, wish to expand your boundaries, and increase the strength of your art and artistry, we are here to help you achieve that, too.

In solidarity,
Paul Kassel
Dean, NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts

EDUCATE

Resources to understand the current situation, its historical roots and present manifestation

  • What should you know?
  • What might you do?
  • How can you step up and/or help others to step up?
Race: The Power of an Illusion

Race: The Power of an Illusion

An online companion to the award-winning documentary series by California Newsreel discussing the origins, beliefs and consequences of what we call race.

NIU in the news

NIU in the news

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, NIU College of Education, Joseph Flynn in Yahoo! Lifestyle: Why It’s So Critical To Talk To Your Family About Race. Maybell Romero, assistant professor, College of Law, was recently featured in an article posted to The...

CREATE

Resources to understand the current situation, its historical roots and present manifestation

  • What should you know?
  • What might you do?
  • How can you step up and/or help others to step up?

RESEARCH

  • What has been the response by artists in the past to oppression?
  • What is the story?
  • Who is telling it?
  • How might we draw greater attention to voices and visions that historically were not seen and heard?
We Insist! – Jazz and Black artists action community

We Insist! – Jazz and Black artists action community

WE INSIST! is a jazz and Black arts action community and an evolving project to convey a True history. WE INSIST! is intended to stimulate discussion, to exist in collaboration with the movement to protect Black lives, and to offer arts, educational, media, and...

The Black Music History Library

The Black Music History Library

This is a living collection of books, articles, documentaries, series, podcasts and more about the Black origins of traditional and popular music dating from the 18th century to present day. Resources are organized chronologically and by genre for ease of browsing....

Featured Video

Artist Titus Kaphar makes paintings and sculptures that wrestle with the struggles of the past while speaking to the diversity and advances of the present. In an unforgettable live workshop, Kaphar takes a brush full of white paint to a replica of a 17th-century Frans Hals painting, obscuring parts of the composition and bringing its hidden story into view. There’s a narrative coded in art like this, Kaphar says. What happens when we shift our focus and confront unspoken truths?

Contact Us

Northern Illinois University
College of Visual and Performing Arts
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815) 753-1635
cvpa@niu.edu

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