FRESH AYERS: Rachel Branham - "What's So Great About Art, Anyway?" with William Ayers

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Rachel Branham discusses What's So Great About Art, Anyway? A Teacher's Odyssey. She will be joined in conversation by William Ayers.

At 57th Street Books


About the book: Inviting readers to examine schools and teaching with a critical lens, this visually and conceptually captivating graphic novel advocates for arts education in schools. At the center of this work is the author's memoir as a young high school art teacher in the public school system. Through engaging (and frequently funny) anecdotes centered on classroom life, mixed with discussions of education policy and reform, readers explore teacher/student relationships, testing and accountability, 21st-century learning, and the history and purpose of art education. Branham's personal narrative of challenges and triumphs demonstrate why art education should be preserved as a core subject if students are to understand the connection between creativity, critical thinking, and other higher-order skills. What's So Great About Art, Anyway? is a refreshing book for everyone -- particularly for in-service teachers -- and is a smart foundational text in arts education and introduction to teaching courses.

About the author: Rachel Branham is an artist educator living in northeastern Massachusetts. She holds a Masters of Arts Education from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts Education from the Ohio State University. In addition to her first graphic novel, What's So Great About Art, Anyway? A Teacher's Odyssey, she has also written and illustrated many short comics and zines, and the children's book, The Sock Book. Ms. Branham is most interested in art making as a tool for self-expression and social justice, and believes that project-based, individualized and holistic education is a human right for all young people.

About William Ayers: William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), education activist, and bestselling author of Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom (with Rick Ayers), To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, Third Edition, and To Teach: The Journey, in Comics (with Ryan Alexander-Tanner). His most recent book with Teachers College Press is Teaching with Conscience in an Imperfect World: An Invitation.  Some of his other books include Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident (Beacon Press, 2013) and Demand the Impossible!: A Radical Manifesto (Haymarket Books 2016).

Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637