Thinking Outside the Box

A Conversation and Master Class with Imani Winds

Watch master musicians from Imani Winds work directly with the students of Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, exploring the music of Paquito D’Rivera, presented by the Fred Fox School of Music and Arizona Arts’ Racial Justice Studio at the CCP Auditorium.

Imani Winds is nominated for a 2022 Grammy Award for “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.” An open conversation about curating a meaningful artistic career in the 21st century and on how musicians can approach programming music outside the Western European canon will follow the master class.  The event is free and open to the public. Learn more.


Who We Are

Racial Justice Studio seeks to amplify the work of Arizona Arts scholars, artists, and educators for whom anti-racism is a core tenet embedded in their professional and personal lives, while also partnering with stakeholders, advocates, and activists beyond the UA campus. It was conceived and founded by Chelsea Farrar, Amelia (Amy) Kraehe, and gloria j. wilson to …

  1. Promote deep understanding of racism and production of anti-racist knowledge through creative practice and arts research broadly conceived; 
  2. Provide transformative learning opportunities and community engagement that build race-consciousness in and through the arts; and 
  3. Build connections, compassion, and co-conspiratorship among students, faculty, departments, initiatives, centers, and institutes within and beyond the Arizona Arts that share a commitment to anti-racism.

What We Do

Rehearsals in Anti-Racism

Rehearsals in Anti-Racism is a Fine Arts course that engages students in personal, political, philosophical, and aesthetic conversations about race, racism, and their intersections with other markers of identity. By using workshop-style teaching methods that engage all the senses in arts-based creative activities, conversations about race move beyond words to something more embodied and participatory. Themes addressed in the course include othering and belonging, bodies and space, surveillance and policing, wellbeing and trauma, social media and truth, and more. Students learn how systemic racism affects their own histories, perceptions, and relationships as well as how to creatively intervene in a world structured by racial inequality.


Race/Remix is a speaker series and podcast featuring an interdisciplinary conversation on the topic of race and racism in the arts. The series brings together speakers from a wide range of disciplines and fields to take part in a live moderated dialogue and a recorded podcast episode available online. The moderated dialogue pairs artists, poets, writers, directors, dancers, designers, performers, and other creative practitioners with social scientists, historians, curators, journalists, activists, and others whose expertise helps illuminate racial injustice and imagine more just and sustainable futures. Topics may include, for example, cultural industries, media, healthcare, education, justice systems, immigration, housing, and more. This program is generously supported with funds from John and Sandi Flint.

Creative Abolitionist Teaching (CAT) Fellows

Creative Abolitionist Teaching (CAT) Fellows is a network that brings together artists and educators who teach in schools and universities to develop anti-racist pedagogies and curricula using the lens of contemporary arts. CAT enables Arizona Arts to impact the system of arts education locally and across the state.  It recognizes systemic racism is a problem throughout the K-20 arts education pipeline. This pipeline refers to the interdependence between undergraduate and graduate arts programs and the feeder programs at the K-12 level. The University and Arizona Arts have a role to play in reshaping this pipeline through partnership with arts educators working in schools (many of whom are graduates of CFA programs). Artists and educators who teach in schools and universities can work together to tear down barriers that discourage students from continuing their arts education into post-secondary programs and build new methods and curriculum structures for inclusive excellence in and through the arts.

Dr. Kraehe facilitating discussion with works of art by Frohawk Two Feathers at the exhibition, “What is the Color, When Black is Burned? The Gold War. Part 1” at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. Photo: Angel Sanchez

Dr. Gloria J. Wilson installing “Blackademic,” her artwork featured in the 2019 Faculty Exhibition. From her artist statement, “In 2016, I made a doctoral gown as a response and metaphor to describe the intersections of my racial-ized and academic identity within a tenure-track faculty position.”

Guiding Principles

Five principles for engagement will support the work of the Racial Justice Studio as pillars.

  1. The principle of endemic anti-blackness is a commitment to centering race, anti-black racism, and the relationship between the arts and white supremacy rooted in anti-blackness.
  2. The principle of justice as process recognizes that racial justice is not an endpoint, but instead is a life-long process carried out in innumerable everyday actions and decisions.
  3. The principle of non-exploitation means that we will not ask BIPOC people to do work without compensating them equitably for their labor. 
  4. The principle of accountability requires that racial justice be linked to outcomes and impact, not good will or best intentions.  
  5. The principle of timelessness holds that racism is endemic, enduring, and evolving and, thus, rejects any treatment of racism as “timely” or “on trend.”

The People

Chelsea Farrar

Chelsea Farrar
Co-founder and co-director
As the Curator of Community Engagement at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, Chelsea Farrar cultivates strategic partnerships and initiates collaborations for on and off-site activities and initiatives between the museum, the community, faculty, and students. She writes and speaks on museum education and community programs. Farrar has over 10 years’ experience in teaching in museums, college, and K-12 classrooms. Her work with community engagement through the arts has included several award-winning community programs and exhibitions involving LGBTQ-youth, military families, and adults with disabilities, including Mapping Q.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe, Ph.D.
Co-founder and co-director
Dr. Kraehe is the inaugural Associate Vice President for Equity in the Arts for Arizona Arts. She is also Associate Professor of Art and Visual Culture Education in the School of Art and Faculty Affiliate in Human Rights Practice. She is recognized for her research on arts equity as well as her publications, workshops, podcasts, and public lectures that illuminate the roles race, racism, and anti-racism play in arts institutions and the education of arts professionals. She regularly consults for national arts councils, art museums, and state arts education agencies.

gloria wilson portrait

gloria j. wilson, ph.d.
Co-founder and co-director
dr. wilson is Assistant Professor of Art and Visual Culture Education in the School of Art. her work as a public scholar and artist analyzes the cultural systems which work to produce race and racism, in general, and more specifically, examines constructions of racial representations across creative modalities. her creative works have been recognized and exhibited nationally and internationally highlighting the intersections of racial identity and arts participation.

Olivia Richardson headshot

Olivia Richardson
Graduate Intern

Olivia Richardson is an interdisciplinary artist attending the University of Arizona as a Master of Fine Arts in 2D Studies (Printmaking) with an interest in Museum Studies. Richardson earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking with a minor in Art History from West Virginia University. As a Black woman, Richardson’s work is sociopolitical in nature; dissecting the intersections of her own identity and amplifying the voices of those more marginalized than her.

Lynn Robinson

Lynn Robinson
Graduate Assistant
Lynn Robinson is a graduate of Georgia State University’s Master in Heritage Preservation. She comes to the University of Arizona’s PhD in Arts and Visual Culture Education program with an extensive background in exhibit design and as a curatorial assistant for small and large museums. Her research focuses on public-private-community partnerships to mend gaps between cultural centers and formal and informal educators serving vulnerable populations.

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