Newsletter, 5 September 2014

Cultural Agents Initiative: Arts and Humanities in Civic Engagement

High school students share their selected texts as part of a Pre-Texts tangent exercise during a physics class at the Instituto de Ciencias y Humanidades in Coahuila, Mexico. August 2014. 

5 September 2014
Dear Friends,

We hope you enjoy this weekly update, which highlights some of our recent activities and the work of other cultural agents. Please see our website for more information, news, and a list of our upcoming events:

As we hope to support your work as a cultural agent too, please send your news to us at

To all of our supporters, “texters” (tejedores, tecelões), and collaborators throughout the world, thank you!

With many thanks,
The Cultural Agents Team

Harvard University PhD Candidate and Cultural Agents collaborator, Amy Fish, was featured in the August newsletter of the Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica, describing her work there this summer. To read this announcement, please visit:

Pre-Texts has now been used in high school classrooms at the Instituto de Ciencias y Humanidades in Saltillo for several weeks. Teachers of a variety of subjects such as mathematics, physics, and English are using Pre-Texts to engage students with the material, which has led to interesting results that have been received well by students. Our local Pre-Texts organizers report that Pre-Texts has reinvigorated both students and teachers, encouraging more engagement in the classroom.

Drawings from a Pre-Texts exercise that was used in an
English class are pictured here.

United States
An optional Pre-Texts training workshop for Romance Languages and Literature students with graduate students from Comparative Literature was held at the Bok Center on Friday, August 29, 2014. Participants played with an excerpt from Marcel Proust’s “Swann’s Way,” “In Search of Lost Time” (1913). This training will continue once a week for the next month.

Participants make a human sculpture to represent
a literary figure from the text.

These workshops are part of the Great Teachers Series profiles nominated faculty members at Harvard, offering a portrait of his or her work through a selection of interrelated videos. For more information, see:

Other Active Cultural Agents 

United States and Beyond
The exhibition Citizen Culture: Artists and Architects Shape Policy will open at the Santa Monica Museum of Art next week! The show will be on exhibit from September 13 to December 20, 2014, showcasing the work of eight international artists and architects, and one politician. In this exhibition, independent curator Lucía Sanromán considers the ways in which these citizen-artists have reshaped public policy through aesthetics, exploring their work through photographs, videos, maps, drawings, performances, and architectural models.
Featured artists:
Tania Bruguera
Alejandro Echeverri and Teddy Cruz
Suzanne Lacy
Michael Maltzan
Antanas Mockus
Ala Plástica (Silvina Babich and Alejandro Meitin)
Laurie Jo Reynolds
For more on this exhibition, please visit the museum’s website:

The Cultural Agents Initiative recognizes the arts and humanities as vital resources for positive social change. Working from a long humanistic tradition dedicated to civic development, we focus on identifying artists, educators, and leaders who have developed creative practices and respond to the role of art in building civil society and confronting its challenges.
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Caminos de Paz Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now
September 5, 2014
by Rodriguez