It’s Planting Time Once Again at PAGES.
There are an infinite amount of great reasons to be involved with the PAGES program. But one of the best reasons to be involved and stay involved is that the experience we all get…is never the same.
Although this is just my second year with this program I know this to be an undeniable fact. Its
unpredictability is inherent in the way Dionne Custer Edwards has constructed its process and its purpose. The “bones” or structure is clear and sturdy which allows for all of the aha’s and surprises to safely and magically happen. We are invited as guest artists to become attached to an artistic feature (via art exhibit, film and performance) of The Wexner’s fall and winter season and collaborate with a group of diverse public schools-their “magical” teachers and wonderful students-to explore, question, “make”, create, write and learn. The content and subject matter is meant to be challenging and thought provoking, often uncomfortable, interesting and always outstanding. It is because of these qualities that the partnership makes for such rich fodder and in many cases an experience that these students will always remember. Another feature to come out of this kind of unpredictability is the intention and commitment to meet these kids where they are. Dealing with topics on identity, sexuality, racism, classism or culture coupled with expressing their fresh viewpoints, ultimately through the written word, is a tapestry waiting to be realized but it is the process of this unique journey and all of the questions and discoveries along the way which makes it so vital and successful.
My thoughts travel back to what Shoeless Joe repeats in the film Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” This PAGES program does a similar thing in planting the seeds to begin conversations, question things not always questioned, consider different points of views, challenge the status quo, make connections to concepts disjointed and perhaps gain a little more empathy along the way. As we approach our next meeting to begin planting those seeds, I have no idea what’s in store and that’s half the fun.