Demonstrate our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
We desire and strive to be a diverse community. We will work to develop and articulate a specific diversity, equity, and inclusion values and mission statement that is germane to the Eskenazi School. Our values around DEI should be clear, visible, and accessible on the web and in print. The mission statement should focus on the importance of DEI within the fields of art, architecture, design, and merchandising. Furthermore, it should emphasize creative culture as a central apparatus within society for freely expressing diverse viewpoints and critically engaging with issues of equity and inclusion. This mission should be clearly tied to targeted action plans and accountability metrics for diversity of programming, faculty, staff, and students, with a specific team charged with guiding and representing this commitment to DEI principles.
Our disciplines represent a safe harbor for members of society typically seen as outcasts. Historically, many artists and designers have found their voice in large part through questioning or being excluded themselves by societal norms and prejudices. The Eskenazi School is, therefore, IU’s hub for fields that have consistently been at the forefront of counter culture and share a unique history for critical engagement with racism, gender and LBGTQ+ issues, economic disparities, equal rights, etc. Our DEI mission statement should honor this tradition and pledge to instill social and cultural consciousness in our students’ creative education.
In order to deepen our diversity, we will also promote international research and teaching. We will seek funding for support of international research and projects, develop strategic partnerships with the IU Global Gateway Network to support research and teaching initiatives, establish a targeted list of formal partnerships with overseas institutions, and recruit faculty with international experience.
Realize the Culture of Building through our Facilities
Over the last three years, we have seen great change in our facilities. Kirkwood Hall has been renovated and become home to merchandising and design disciplines, and the Dean’s Office suite. We have added a building in Columbus to our inventory – the historic Republic Building which now houses the J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program. A collective home for MFA/BFA students and faculty in five studio areas has been constructed on the corner of Woodlawn and 13th Avenue, extending for the entire block. In the short term, we need to complete these projects and make sure they are all the best they can be. Kirkwood is close to complete, and refinements are still actively occurring at the Studio Arts Annex (Art+X) and the Republic Building. For the next two years we will continue our work on the enhancement of the spaces in the Fine Arts Building, including renovation of various rooms and repurposing of appropriate functions.
We will also focus our efforts on creating spaces within each building for collaboration and exchange of ideas. Such “community spaces” are key for developing a strong sense of connection between our disciplines for both teaching and research.
The new “Mies van der Rohe inspired” building on the corner of 7th and Jordan Ave., to be built during 2021, will serve as a “neutral hub” that doesn’t “belong” to any particular discipline or degree program – a space that is truly “for all”–resulting in the most inclusive conversations. It will also serve as a connector to Columbus with space for Miller M.Arch students who are taking classes at IUB.
With an eye on the longer term, we will clearly state the value of a single, collective, equitable and visionary space shared by all Bloomington-based Eskenazi School areas with the goal of establishing such a space. We will use this information and fundraise to meet this goal of a collective space.