WP# 1: Brainstorming Solutions

Wicked Problem #1
How do we prepare students for the lack of sustainable job opportunities and professional placement in arts related careers?

Wicked Problem 1 Notes

  • Better awareness of the opportunities that DO exist
    ie: grantwriting; tech skills; promotion through school/community connections
  • Improve networks
  • Effective tracking of jobs that align to skills developed through art/design education
  • Better instruction in professional practices/applied learning as part of the currciulum
  • Capitalize on the current popularity of “design thinking” which is already inherent to visual arts study; better branding
  • Focus less on artwork and more on “thinking”
  • Articulate process in accessible ways
  • Focus on pedagogy and interdisciplinarity
  • Utilize existing data that suggests job opportunities do exist in arts
  • Allow students to create their curriculum/learning–is this a viable approach?
  • Building confidence and demystifying career pathways and opportunities
  • Change the culture of art programs to be more open-ended, and not a set track
  • Highlighting value of an art portfolio and skills
  • Arts-administrative-like curriculum that is real-world oriented; discuss art-business; museum/curatorial knowledge; abilities to talk to funders and collectors
  • Co-op more effective/desirable opportunities than internships
  • Instill value of collaboration
  • Debunk “myths” about what it means to be an artist today
  • Supplement coursework with panels, conferences, exhibits, etc. in order to learn what it takes to be competitive
  • Create expectation of engagement
  • Demonstrate relevancy
  • Location relevant to programs in art

WP#2: Brainstorming Solutions

How do we create an educational pipeline that will introduce and encourage more diverse populations to pursue arts-based careers?

Notes Wicked Problem 2

  • What do we mean by diversity?
  • Inclusive; Equitable
  • All internships should be paid
  • Should paid internship be weighed more or less against unpaid internships?
  • Are credit hours the same as paid?
  • How do we evaluate resumes when it comes to internships?
  • Should internships be required?
  • How do we evaluate colleges  on resumes? (Why are some schools weighted more than the person)
    • Take away college names on resumes?
    • Only include GPA and coursework?
  • Problems with transferring internships to 4-year schools
  • Institutional support for students applying for internships
  • Linking artist to students for mentorship
    • existence of a role model—who is similar to you?


Notes: Wicked Problem #3

How do we best counsel students wishing to pursue a Ph.D. in Art History?

Posed by Amanda Wangwright, Julian Adoff, and Hannah Wong, on behalf of CAA’s Students and Emerging Professionals Committee (SEPC)

Session Notes: Wicked Problem 3

We need your input!

CAA’s Education Committee asks you to join us on Thursday 2/14 at 4pm in the Hilton’s Concourse G.  We invite members across disciplines and institutional boundaries to contribute to this interactive session exploring  wicked problems facing us today. 

What is a wicked problem?
Originating in the field of urban planning and design, the concept of a wicked problem refers to overwhelming social or cultural challenges that are difficult to describe and impossible to solve through conventional means. Indeed, such problems reveal themselves as wicked through their relentlessness to reach into overlapping areas of concern to affect a range stakeholders, who see the issue from different perspectives and propose varied solutions.  

What will happen at this session? 
Designed as a face-to-face forum where educators, students, and emerging professionals can discuss wicked problems in visual arts and humanities education, this session aims to foster creative thinking and collaboration among diverse participants invested in addressing pressing concerns in the field.  

We’ve asked guests Michelle Corvette, Dahlia Elsayed, and representatives of CAA’s Student and Emerging Professionals Committee  to introduce a specific wicked problem through brief remarks that frame the issue. (This website’s menu provides summaries and resources around these concerns.) 

On Feb. 14, session participants will brainstorm solutions and additional actions in break-out groups based on their area of interest. Group discussions will be facilitated by members of CAA’s Education and Student and Emerging Professionals Committees.