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This paper details the evolution of a course, Arts and Society, and the inception of a student-centered assignment, “Putting ‘US’ back in Museums.” By tapping into a nationwide discussion of inclusion and public spaces, this business proposal style assignment asks students to consider their own observations as museum visitors alongside research that considers community engagement, diversity and accessibility in order to identify a specific issue within a museum and to propose change. Throughout the project, students are supported by the implementation of smaller scaffolding assignments, in-class discussions, an embedded librarian and an assigned writing fellow. Furthermore, they will meet at least eight professionals in the field and visit at least four different local sites. This assignment demonstrates best practices via scaffolding, institutional support, experiential learning, and engagement with the local community.
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