Curating Racial Storylines: University Prep and the Teenie Harris Archive
A collaboration between HAA, the Center for Urban Education, and the Carnegie Museum of Art, this project emerged from the Raceing the Museum workshop in May 2016 and has recently received a $5,000 grant for Pitt’s Year of Diversity. A team of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate interns from HAA and the School of Education have launched a semester-long extracurricular program for 12 high school students from University Prep, a predominantly Black magnet high school on the Upper Hill. The project will culminate in a student-curated exhibition of the work of Charles “Teenie” Harris, nationally celebrated photographer of Black life in Pittsburgh. The curriculum focuses on how racial storylines are created and communicated in different forums – photography like Harris’, civic spaces, and museums. Students will be introduced to community elders and oral histories of the Hill, as well as Pitt faculty and a variety of museum and arts professionals who can model careers in their respective fields. The resulting exhibition at CMOA and U Prep will be honored with a May 2017 “graduation” ceremony in the CMOA auditorium open to parents, teachers, administrators, museum professionals, and the Pitt community. The larger goal is to expand this year’s pilot project into an annual program that will include more students drawn from several schools.
The image shown here is taken from an initial curatorial exercise done by a small team of U Prep students, facilitated by an undergraduate mentor from HAA.