This piece first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.
Hot on the heels of a new graduate program in Jewish Cultural Arts, George Washington University has announced an additional new MA program in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts. Whereas the first program focuses more on arts administration and museum management, the second is meant to train educators for professional roles in today’s broad and varied Jewish cultural landscape.
The program in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts, the first of its kind in the U.S., is set to begin this coming summer thanks to a $1.47 million grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation. It will offer an interdisciplinary curriculum of coursework from the university’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development’s Museum Education Program and the Columbian College’s program in Judaic studies.
Professor Jenna Weissman Joselit, who directs the Jewish Culture Arts graduate program and will co-direct the new experiential education one, told The Arty Semite that GWU is breaking new ground. “Academic programs in Jewish art already exist, but they are more geared toward connoisseurship and curatorial. Our programs are more about advancing Jewish cultural arts programmatically, educationally and administratively,” she said.
Joselit and her colleagues are casting a wide net in terms of seeking students for these new programs. “There are a lot of people out there interested in this field, but they don’t know Jewish culture. And the opposite is true,” she pointed out.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.