Lunch Special! Work with PIE Artists to make media about school lunch

People in Education is looking for classrooms, schools and organizations to partner with our artists-in-residence, starting October 2018.

The Artist in Residence  (AIR) program partners with artists, school communities and students to make media that uncovers stories at the heart of the schooling experience. Over four months, we explore a complex education issue, resulting in a collaborative, digital media project.

This year, we’re looking to change how we make; instead of creating projects on varying topics, we want to focus all our media projects around a central theme: school lunch. This new model will allow us to get multiple angles on one part of schooling and show how complex it really is.

Often in policy and reform conversations about schooling we flatten the complexities of the issues, attempting to make them easier to comprehend or measure. From there, we develop flat solutions that fail to address what is truly at the core of the education crisis.

Click here to see some of our past collaborative media projects.

Why school lunch?

In seven years of working with young people in Detroit classrooms, there is always one topic students are hungry to discuss: lunch. When it comes up, the stories pour out:  “One time, I had brown alfredo sauce?” or “A bread and cheese sandwich? It ain’t even grilled sis!” And it's hard to talk about anything else because A) the stories are hilarious and B) the feelings run so deep.

We want to make media that speaks to these questions:

1. What are young people really eating?

Detroit is known for being revolutionary in its school food programs. We want to hear how young people feel about school lunch in Detroit and what they’re actually eating. Just because it's served doesn't mean it’s eaten.  

2. What else is going on in the lunchroom?

Lunchroom politics can be a hot topic, rich with social dynamics and institutional rules. We want to see what young people think about things like the design, multi-functionality, interpersonal interactions, expectations from adults about noise and seating (just to name a few) in their cafeterias.

3. What is the importance and impact of student choice at lunch?

There are lots of assumptions about the food choices young people make. More often than not, adults question their ability to make healthy choices. We want to know how students understand the choices they make around food.

What we’re looking for in a partner:

Educators, schools and organizations who--

  1. Work with young people on art, technology, health, food and/or issues in social justice.

  2. Can work with a consistent group of students over the course of the four-month program.

  3. Are open to a collaborative creating process between themselves, their students and PIE artists-in-residence.

How to become an AIR partner:

If you’re interested becoming an AIR partner, complete this form by September 17 to tell us a bit more about yourself and your work. The form will take about ten minutes to fill, and we’ll follow up later in September with more details.