We All Belong: Art show promotes diversity and inclusion at UMD

Illustration by Anna Rasmus

Illustration by Anna Rasmus

Every college student wants to study at a safe, welcoming campus. Luckily, a positive campus climate is something every Bulldog can contribute to, whether it’s through advocating for your friends or offering to eat with someone sitting alone in the Superior Dining Center. A new creative outlet is available for UMD students, staff, and faculty to express what a diverse, inclusive campus means to them.

The Campus Climate Art Show’s opening reception will be on Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Griggs Center. The next day, Wednesday, Feb. 27, the artwork will be featured at the 2019 UMD Summit on Equity, Race, & Ethnicity from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Griggs Center.

Chair of the Chancellor’s Unit Campus Climate Change Team, LeeAnn Myers, offered background on the all-campus art show.

Goal 2 of UMD’s strategic plan has three different tiers to it and we wanted to have an event that promoted all three of those tiers,” Myers said. “The first is promoting diversity on campus, and inclusion, making everybody feel welcome, and anti-bullying. So with the art show, you have to make a piece of art that falls into one of those categories.”

Myers emphasized that the goal of the art show was to have everyone at UMD feel welcome.

“I think it’s such an important thing that we’re doing as a campus and it seems like with the increase in political tension nationally we need to amp up our efforts to make sure that everybody in UMD feels welcome,” Myers said. “We really wanted to do something that really stood out as far as having an event that impacted our campus and campus community—we really wanted to have students feel like they can partake in this event and faculty as well.”

This is the first all-inclusive campus art show, according to Myers. If it’s successful, Myers hopes it will become an annual event.

“We’ve worked with the Commission on Equity, Race, & Ethnicity (CERE) to try and time it around the summit because we thought it was a great way to bring in more community members,” Myers said. “Our art show is the day before the summit.”

The deadline has already passed for digital artwork to be submitted, but both 2D non-digital and 3D artwork can still be submitted to the show. Those looking to submit their art should first fill out the Google form and then arrive to Griggs Center between 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Feb. 25 with their art in ready-to-display condition and a completed printed copy of the artist liability statement. According to the Google form, students even have the chance to win a cash prize for their submissions.

“We’re hoping to offer different viewpoints and perspectives on what Goal 2 is, letting people tell their stories visually,” Myers said.

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