MinterTom  Jul.22.2016 0 Comments

I am fortunate; it is my third year with the National Portrait Gallery’s program Portraits Alive! Having the opportunity to participate in the construct of what students will be addressing this year, I sought to find the model by which to investigate their concepts of ‘civic duty and ‘social responsibility’. Students would choose sitters, whose portraits are part of the NPG collection, who best exemplified such ingredients of character and informed their definition of ‘leadership’. With these choices made, students were to create 2 to 3 minute monologues of characterization, in the aspect of their sitter, which would then be delivered in front of the corresponding portrait and enacted as part of an open opportunity for the museum’s daily audience. These presentations are well publicized and have a faithful following –but it is always a delight to find impromptu interest drawing in the many unsuspecting others who have happened into the museum on the day! Whether families, tourists, summer school excursion groups, or local workers seeking a lunch hour refuge –the experience of the Portraits Alive! Student voices tour offers a dimension of exhibition as entertainment, which is very much a part of the NPG’s array of enrichment programs designed to engage a broad breadth of audience who visit the museum with a diversity of interests. This summer our young presenters weave a tapestry of expression and social consciousness that resonates with the state of America; moving from portraits of Richard Nixon, to Sylvia Rivera, Russell Means and Jane Adams –to name a few- students give expression to different decades of cultural engagement, across passionate personalities, who ultimately wind up articulating the wrestling tensions of scope that continue to seek to twine into our national narrative of political character and democracy.   The 2nd session’s presentations will be given in the first week of August, and are open to the public.   The initial session’s presentations were given in the 2nd week of July. These are some photos of the journey!  

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"224","attributes":{"class":"media-image size-medium wp-image-873","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"224","height":"300","alt":"Some costumes"}}]] Some costumes



[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"225","attributes":{"class":"media-image size-medium wp-image-874","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"300","height":"224","alt":"Captivated crowd"}}]] Captivated crowd



[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"226","attributes":{"class":"media-image size-medium wp-image-875","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"300","height":"224","alt":"Ensemble and audience"}}]] Ensemble and audience



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