With collaborator and spouse Mark Creekmore, Julie Ellison has been invited to introduce Citizen Alum to a renowned arts education center in Johannesburg in June 2015, with support from the University of Michigan.
Kim Berman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Artist Proof Studio (APS) and Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Johannesburg, partnered with Ellison and Creekmore on the Isithunzi Writing Workshop on the Artist Statement in 2007-2008. Pamela Nichols, Director of the Wits Writing Centre at the University of Witwatersrand, brought her team in as the third collaborator on that project.
Now, after a strategic planning process aiming at international accreditation, APS is eager to know more about its graduates. This involves listening closely to their stories in order to understand their experiences in transitioning from professional training to career, then drawing on those stories to better prepare current students for similar pathways.
Ellison and Creekmore will facilitate workshops with instructors, current students, staff, and alumni artists. Members of these groups will tell their stories. In reflecting on their stories, the design for a sustainable program oriented to socially committed graduates wtill start to emerge. Workshop participants will include Isithunzi Workshop participants, shown above at a 2013 reunion.
Watch this space for updates later in the summer. In the meantime, here is a YouTube link to a student-made documentary about the Isithunzi Writing Workshop.