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Deborah Stokes

As Curator for Education at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, I bring a broad background in museum studies, art education, art history, and the visual arts of Africa to our educational programs.  I enjoy creating multidisciplinary, cross-unit collaborative programming and guides for integrating the arts and sciences, such as Artful Animals (2009-10) https://africa.si.edu/exhibits..., African Cosmos: Stellar Arts (2011-12) https://africa.si.edu/exhibits..., and Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa (2013-14) https://africa.si.edu/exhibits.... Take a look at the corresponding collections in Learning Lab!  I also direct the museum’s award-winning Distance Learning program through video-conferencing, The Arts Can Take Us Places! developed and launched in 2012 to advance the museum’s outreach potential through digital technologies. https://africa.si.edu/educatio...    Stokesd@si.edu

 

Deborah Stokes's collections

 

Black Panther Movie Collection

<p>The visual arts can be an entry point to literacy in the classroom.  Use these objects in the collection of the National Museum of African Art to aid students to explore authentic African art works that inspired the Academy Award winning costume design of Ruth Carter in the blockbuster movie<em> Black Panther.  </em>Students can develop visual vocabulary through close looking to describe mood, tone, atmosphere, and inference and explore cross-curricular and cross cultural connections.  It allows them to really be creative and critical thinkers!  </p><p>Learn more about distance learning opportunities from the National Museum of African Art by visiting the <a href="https://cilc.org/ContentProvider/ViewContentProvider.aspx?id=453" target="_blank">Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC)</a>.</p> <p>Keywords: NJPSA</p>
Deborah Stokes
89
 

Artful Animals: Leadership

What traits make a good leader? What can we learn about ourselves by looking at our relationship with animals? This student activity explores these questions through animal symbolism in African art, focusing on an embroidered Fante “Cloth of the Great.” Includes multiple objects, short-answer questions, an mp3 of a folktale read aloud, and a creative writing activity.<br /> <br /> Tag: Africa<br /> <br /> This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Deborah Stokes
14
 

Slow Looking: Untitled, by El Anatsui

<p>In this collection, students will explore an artwork by El Anatsui, a contemporary artist whose recent work addresses global ideas about the environment, consumerism, and the social history and memory of the "stuff" of our lives. After looking closely and exploring the artwork using an adapted version of Project Zero's "Parts, Purposes, and Complexities" routine, students will create a "diamante" poem using their observations of the artwork and knowledge they gained about El Anatsui's artistic influences. Additional resources about El Anatsui, how to look at African Art, and Project Zero Thinking Routines are located at the end of the collection.</p> <p><em>This collection was created for the "Smithsonian Learning Lab, Focus on Global Arts and Humanities" session at the 2019 New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Arts Integration Leadership Institute. </em></p> <p>Keywords: nigeria, african art, textile, poetry, creative writing, analysis</p>
Deborah Stokes
20
 

Teaching Resources: Artful Animals

This topical collection gathers resources related to animal meanings and motifs in African art. Includes art objects related to 30 animals (real and mythical!), information on symbolism, a map of Africa, activities, audio, folktales, a guide on how to look at African art, and links to other teaching resources on Artful Animals.<br /> <br /> Tag: Africa<br /> <br /> This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Deborah Stokes
54
 

Artful Animals: Conservation

This student activity analyzes our relationship to three types of African animals – antelope, elephants, and primates – through their representation in African art and a discussion of the real-world threats that face them. Focuses on three species: scimitar-horned oryx, African elephants, and western lowland gorillas. Includes photographs, art objects, fact sheets, a reading-level appropriate article, discussion questions, and a collection-building activity. Tag: Africa This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Deborah Stokes
17
 

Artful Animals: Storytelling and Symbol

This student activity explores African animal symbolism through visual art and folktales. Twelve animals are profiled, including leopards, primates, spiders, chameleons, and the mythical chi wara. Includes objects, an audio folktale ('The Leopard’s Drum’), short answer questions, a creative writing exercise, and opportunities to learn more. Tag: Africa This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.
Deborah Stokes
20