Dartmouth College: Partnerships

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Playwright and actress Anne Galjour

Playwright and actress Anne Galjour

The Hopkins Center’s Class Divide project began with a core set of partnerships, and these partnerships grew and multiplied over the multi-year project:

Artistic Partners

  • A centerpiece of the Class Divide project was playwright/actor Anne Galjour’s extended residency at Dartmouth and her work with residents in Romano Circle, a Section 8 Housing community, and Rogers House, a subsidized housing complex for seniors, for the research for her commissioned work, You Can’t Get There From Here. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgrZBSCUxR0) Galjour returned to both locations for readings throughout the creation of her piece. Galjour’s creative process, which involved community residents, was a focal point of the Class Divide initiative and dually developed community relationships on behalf of the Hop.
  • Pati Hernandez, the lead teaching artist for in-school residencies at Mascoma Valley Regional High School (2 years) and Hanover High School
  • Residents of Rogers House & Romano Circle (a Section 8 Housing community)
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock – participated in a community discussion about an excerpt from David Shipler’s The Working Poor: Invisible In America and performed at the Hopkins Center in January 2009
  • Peter Sellars – conducted 1-week residency, supported by Dartmouth’s Montgomery Fellowship

Campus Partners

  • Dartmouth Centers Forum (www.dartmouth.edu/~centersforum) a collaborative alliance of on-campus centers to promote campus-wide dialogue. During the evolution of Class Divide, the Hop became a member of the Forum, and Forum members adopted Class Divide as their annual theme during the 2007/08 academic year. For examples of their programming for the year, see: www.dartmouth.edu/~centersforum/past/class_divide_past.html. Programs included a lecture co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Upper Valley, Does Class Matter in American Elections?, a panel discussion Class and Racial Division: Challenges and Opportunities, a lecture by author David Shipler, The Working Poor: Invisible in America, and a workshop for teachers, Status and Stereotypes, with sociologist Melissa Herman.
  • Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity’s Economic Equity Initiative educates and empowers the Dartmouth community to understand and address socio-economic difference as an important element of diversity. This program provided rich context and training opportunities for Class Divide partners and participants (www.dartmouth.edu/~ide/programs/eei/)
  • Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences offered a series of programs related to class and socio-economic disparity (rockefeller.dartmouth.edu/)
  • Dartmouth’s Montgomery Fellowship is an endowment bringing internationally-renown scholars and intellectuals to campus for residencies. The Fellowship supported a weeklong residency with director Peter Sellars in February 2009. (www.dartmouth.edu/~montfell/selection.html)
  • Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration organizers. The Celebration adopted the Class Divide theme for all activities, and the Hop helped develop a panel discussion about the class divide featuring Hop visiting performing artist jazz musician/composer Jason Moran, who joined faculty and community members to discuss education, economic background and the US.

Community Partners

  • The Community Advisory Board partnered the Hopkins Center with community members, ensuring diverse viewpoints were represented throughout the project, and the discussions Class Divide fostered were carried into ever-widening circles in the community. (hop.dartmouth.edu/assets/pdf/cdcab.pdf)
  • Jonathan Chaffee, Executive Director of the Lebanon (NH) Housing Authority – due to his involvement with Anne Galjour and her primary research, Chaffee joined the Community Advisory Board.
  • Associate Principal Gary Wells (Dartmouth Class of 1974), Mascoma Valley Regional High School became a member of the Community Advisory Board in the final year of Class Divide
    • Felice Yeskel, Class Action (www.classism.org) – Class Action advised The Hopkins Center on project goals and shaping the original proposal, trained regional arts presenters in conjunction with Anne Galjour’s tour, attracted new constituents to the Hop through their workshops, and created bridges to campus departments (Institutional Diversity & Equity) and community ones, such as COVER, a low-income housing repair organization that co-sponsored a Class Action workshop, in White River Junction, VT.
    • The Class Divide High School Residency was a two-year partnership between the Hop and area High Schools. Through this residency in 2007-08, students at Mascoma High School and at the Sharon Academy had the opportunity to explore the issue of social class both in their studies and through the arts. The in-class portion of the residency was embedded in the respective high schools’ existing curriculum where students explored issues surrounding class within their school, families and community.
      • The Hop engaged Pati Hernández, a dancer, puppeteer and director from West Glover, Vermont as the teaching artist in the classroom at Mascoma High School. Her professional focus was the exploration of political and social issues through a combination of dance and theater. She is the creator and facilitator of the program Telling My Story, a theater-based program designed to encourage inmates in NH and VT correctional facilities to share the stories of their lives. The Mascoma High School Class Divide residency culminated in a performance piece based on class created by the students and presented within the school.
      • A Dartmouth student intern ran the Sharon Academy residency. During which, she worked with her students to a create film from their experience, which can be viewed here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S9nsYdfJOo

    Staff Partnerships

    • The Hopkins Center itself charged a team of staff members to review the accessibility of Hopkins Center programs and facilities, and guided policy development to increase access on all levels.
    • Student interns were employed on a quarterly basis and charged with engaging the student body in the Class Divide Initiative and helping to increase the theme’s visibility on campus. Here is an example of a student project:
      • A Dartmouth student intern project was a 26-page booklet, “Secrets of Class at Dartmouth,” featuring several years of student creative works and expressions about Class Divide. Copies went to every undergraduate on campus, and hundreds more were then shared with the field; it is also on line at hop.dartmouth.edu/assets/pdf/classdivide-book.pdf

    Featured Partner: Anne Galjour, playwright/actor…

    “The stories people shared in the story circles and interviews gave me characters, their circumstances, and the stakes in their lives. I learned about the patterns, codes of behavior, body language, and beliefs associated with different socio-economic groups…What I have learned in partnership with my friends at the Hopkins Center has changed the way I teach my playwriting classes at San Francisco State University. It’s given me the confidence to develop a new course for the Creative Writing Department called Writing From a Class Perspective…As a working-class artist I entered the process with some secret prejudices about people from different socio-economic backgrounds. Through this project I have learned that I have a lot more in common with folks from different material and cultural circumstances. All it took was getting together just to talk. What a privilege!”

    Anne Galjour’s website: annegaljour.com
    Podcast: www.dartmouth.edu/~news/features/podcasts/2008/galjour.html

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