This past weekend, Mazzy, my husband and I tested the waters at an art exhibit again, our first since the taxidermied squirrel debacle at the New Museum. Redu, an art project which hopes to inspire education reform in the American Public School System, seemed slightly more appriopriate. But with contributions from indie darling artists such as Michel Gondry, Shepard Fairey, and Swoon, it was clearly no student showcase.
At a time when high school drop-out rates are increasing, our best teachers are retiring, more classrooms are becoming overcrowded and education is increasingly relying on standardized testing, Redu makes the argument that artists and innovators can help save our public education system where policy makers have failed us. They are calling for creative thinkers to step in and come up with innovative solutions.
The show, which took over an entire school on Mott Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, was filled with artwork, multi-media presentations and informative installations especially designed by both well-known and local artists to support the project. There was a DJ in the courtyard and it was open to the public for free. The exhibit was compelling and the message was clear— Redu is trying to change our schools in a way that is inspiring, engaging, and inclusive.
It's not every day that you get to be involved in something that feels both altruistic and incredibly cool. (I know it was cool because I was the only one with a kid there). If you would like to get involved you can watch a video and learn more about Redu here and you might as well go ahead and join their facebook fanpage.