The School of the Poetic City is a small summer camp in downtown Denver. I created and direct it with my husband, Peter, a kindergarten teacher. We design experiences for children that foster agency, wonder, new ideas, citizenship, and joy.
Each morning we look artists who use contemporary practices like these:
- Indexing the city
- Situating the body into the city
- Reimagining the city
- Assessing the city
- Messaging the city
- Miniaturizing the city
- Tracing the city
- Embellishing the city
Then we walk to museums and galleries to see art. On our walk there and back, children can use the practice we talked about that morning. Throughout the week, they accumulate practices and try them out on our walks each day. Each year, we add and drop some of these practices. It depends on the contexts of the exhibits we are seeing, current events in our city, and the children.
In addition to these experiences, children work all week in the morning and afternoon on a puppet. At the end of the week, they have a product to take home. They also take home a handmade field-journal with their writing, drawing, and photographs documenting their more transient art making that happened during their walks.