Fall ’12 Cross-Disciplinary Courses

Published on March 22, 2012

We’ve got some great cross-disciplinary courses lined up for you for the fall.  They are outlined below.
If you have any questions about them, please contact the instructor directly.  Don’t forget, you can find any faculty/staff email by typing their name in the search box at www.vcu.edu.

Happy registering!


Good Art for Do-Gooders:  Art and Social Justice

ARTS 491-002
Instructor:  Matthew Shelton

Fridays 9-11:50, 2-4:50 Fine Arts Building room 332

4 credits

Reviewing the work of artists who use narratives of oppression and resistance as a resource for their artwork, Good Art for Do-Gooders will trace the connections between an artist and their practice. 
Students will learn the history of social justice-oriented art, paying particular attention to how artists have addressed social justice issues from a diversity of perspectives and artistic practices, including performance, civic collaboration, photography, music, legislation, costume design, agriculture, mass media, writing, and web design (to name a few). 
Through reflective writing and drawing, collaboration, research projects, lectures, and discussion, students will explore the artist’s relationship to audience as well as interrogate how to mediate an idea to affect an audience. Because listening is an indispensable element of good work—in activism and art making—students will be instructed in engaged, attentive listening in their discussions and collaborations. 
Design Leadership Seminar
ARTS 491-901

Instructor:  Peter Fraser

TR 6-7:30pm Pollak Building room 409

3 credits

This course is the expansion and continuation of the Design Leadership Seminar course offered in the Fall of 2011. The focus is for creatives to envision their role as leaders in the cultural and economic landscape. The class investigates innovators- companies and people that have shifted paradigms. We look at local and national examples and feature guest speakers doing revolutionary work in the area. 

One testimonial from the Fall 2011 class from Moria Yaseiko:

“Too often designers rollover for bad ideas and harbor great ideas thinking it’s not their place to share them. Design Leadership redefines the role of designer and empowers artists to become leaders within their companies and communities. This class has been a game-changing class for my career after I complete my studies at VCU and I believe every art student should take it.” 
Creative Entrepreneurship
ARTS 491-006

Instructor:  Matthew Woolman

TR 2-3:15 Pollak Building room 321

Course Description

Students engage their creative thinking abilities, processes and methodologies to identify needs, and transform opportunities into sustainable business ventures. Students evaluate entrepreneurial development, strategies and challenges from case studies and industry professionals. The primary outcome of this course is a student team developed, executable business plan.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Define Creative Entrepreneurship as a unique, innovative form of entrepreneurship that emerges from the creative disciplines
2. Cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset and assess the current state of entrepreneurship.
3. Apply creative thinking as a strategic process that the matches needs of populations with innovative, sustainable solutions.
4. Identify and evaluate opportunities for new venture creation and ventures within existing organizations.
5. Design methods of discovery and information gathering from a variety of sources in order to identify needs.
6. Use a range of tools for turning an idea into reality: designing a business model; writing a business plan; building an effective team; financing an opportunity; creating an innovative marketing program; planning for growth and the unexpected.
7. Support the function and value of the individual and the interdisciplinary team in project development and project management, and entrepreneurial opportunity.
8. Engage in entrepreneurial practice.
9. Debate ethical, environmental, economic, sociological and cultural issues related to entrepreneurship.