Social Integration through the Arts in the Americas

The Social Integration Through the Arts (SITA) initiative, led by the DRCLAS Regional Office in collaboration with the Arts in Education Program (AIE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), has strengthened efforts across Latin America to improve educational outcomes and enrich the quality of life in communities through engagement with the arts. This initiative fosters and facilitates ongoing collaborations and exchanges at Harvard and in Latin America between cultural leaders, entrepreneurs, Harvard faculty, and students. Since 2015, it has documented and promoted awareness of important cultural and educational work in the arts already underway, with the mission to generate social integration across Latin America.

Current activities for SITA  

In January of 2018, Doris Sommer, Ira Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University, will represent Harvard DRCLAS as a faculty member of the Global Leaders Program, organized in collaboration with the Orchestra of the Americas (YOA), Chile Chapter. Professor Sommer's seminar will take place in the Teatro del Lago, Frutillar, Chile.  

History behind SITA

First Phase

The initiative began with the Symposium - Cultural Entrepreneurship & Social Integration through the Arts, which took place at Harvard University in May 2015, bringing together Harvard faculty and prominent cultural leaders from Chile, Colombia, and the United States.

Second Phase

For the second phase of the initiative’s academic programming, Steve Seidel, Faculty Director, Arts in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), and James Honan, Senior Lecturer on Education, HGSE, led a public talk on the power of arts education in creating social change. The event took place In January 2016, in Cartagena, Colombia, and was part the 10th Annual Cartagena Music Festival.

Third Phase

The third phase consisted of the symposium Social Integration through the Arts: Snapshots of Practice, which took place at Harvard University in October 2016. The symposium and its related academic programming brought together Harvard faculty and cultural leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States to engage in dialogue about the power of the arts in creating social integration and enriching quality of life for communities. The three-day encounter addressed various topics, such as learning in and through the arts, creating and measuring social impact, promoting community engagement, developing institutional partnerships with stakeholders, and achieving financial sustainability, among others. The symposium and its related academic programming were made possible thanks to the generous support of Jaime Urrútia Montoya (AB '63), and funding from a DRCLAS Faculty Grant.

Fourth Phase

In January 2017, James Honan, Senior Lecturer on Education, HGSE, visited Frutillar in Southern Chile, to participate in the 1st International Forum: Creativity and Learning, which was organized by Colegio Kopernikus, Fundación Plan para el Desarrollo Sustentable (PLADES), and Teatro del Lago, in collaboration with the DRCLAS Regional Office, the British Council, Creative, Culture and Education (CCE), and Fundación Mustakis. In his keynote presentation, Mr. Honan spoke to more than 600 attendees about the impact of creativity in education and the role of education leaders and professionals in instilling creativity in schools. During his visit, Mr. Honan also gave a workshop on creative fundraising to leaders of local nonprofits in arts education and social integration. Steve Seidel, Faculty Director, Arts in Education, HGSE, also traveled to Frutillar, where he led workshops focused on creative learning, and the quality of arts education and its impact in communities. These Harvard faculty visits were made possible thanks to the generous support of Jaime Urrútia Montoya (AB '63), and funding from a DRCLAS Faculty Grant.