a2ru Online Event: Three New Exemplars for Best Practices in Arts Integration: An a2ru & ICFAD Collaborative Webinar

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Online Event (via Zoom) – Wednesday, April 13, 2022: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST

(from the a2ru Connect newsletter):

Please join us for an online conversation about three new exemplars for arts integration from the a2ru network, in collaboration with ICFAD (International Council of Fine Arts Deans):

  • University of Cincinnati’s Strange Tools Lab (inspired by the work of philosopher Alva Noë) situated in UC’s Digital Futures environment;
  • University of Michigan’s ArtsEngine’s faculty engineering/arts students teams, or F.E.A.S.T. 
  • Dartmouth College’s Arts Integration Initiative

Panelists will outline the features of their programs, their guiding principles, and how the programs are funded and sustained in the context of these large university environments.

Facilitating our conversation will be:

  • Debra Mexicotte, Managing Director of ArtsEngine, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Kristopher Holland, associate professor of Art and Design Education and Fine arts, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati
  • Samantha Lazar, Curator of Academic Programming, Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts


All a2ru webinars are free for individual members and for those affiliated with a2ru institutional or departmenal members. Please use your institutional email while registering for the event.

MEMBER REGISTRATION (Free to University of Michigan faculty, staff, and students)

REGISTRATION FOR NON-MEMBERS (Registration for non-members is $20; non-member student registration is $10.)


Dr. Kristopher Holland is an associate professor of Art and Design Education and Fine arts at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. He received his M.A. from New York University, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Art Education from Indiana University.

He is the Co-Director of the Strange Tools Research Lab at the Digital Futures research collaborative located in the University of Cincinnati. This research lab combines artistic and philosophical inquiry to create new tools to engage with multi-disciplinary problems. He is also the Director of the Graduate program in Art & Design Education and the Director of the Visual Arts & Design Education State Licensure for the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. He Previously was the director of Art and Publications for the Žižekian Institute for Research, Inquiry, and Pedagogy. He also is involved with the biannual Berlin Summer Studio Arts Inquiry program in collaboration with the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin.

As a visiting professor at the Karl Franzens University’s Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Graz, Austria, he has taught courses on a range of subjects including: Joseph Beuys, The Vienna Secession, Baroque Art and Knowledge, Artful Science, Philosophy of Technology, The Black Radical Tradition, Photography and Video Art, Object Orientated Ontology, and Political Theory as Art Production.

As a practicing artist and philosopher his current research interests are: strange tools, philosophical inquiry methodologies, arts-based research, art & design teacher education, deconstruction, contemporary art, and critical theory. His conceptual art work The Habermas Machine was cited in James Rolling Jr.’s Arts-Based Research: A Primer, published in 2013 and was exhibited in 2015. He has recently given guest lectures at the School of Visual Arts in New York on strange tools and philosophy without text, and at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development on the topic of Jean Baudrillard and Radical Education which corresponds with his recently published co-authored book: Jean Baudrillard and Radical Education Theory: Turning Right to Go Left. His most recent publication is a co-authored chapter in the textbook Foundations in Art Therapy titled: ‘Intersections of Neuroscience and Art Therapy.’

His peer-reviewed publications can be found in: The Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy [Revue de la philosophie française et de langue française], Adaptive Behavior, Visual Arts Research Journal, The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Studies in Art Education, and the International Journal of Žižek Studies. By combining the fields of philosophy, art, and education, his work seeks to spark agency for students in the creative fields for social change and educative innovation.

Samantha Lazar is the Curator of Academic Programming at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College. She is a performance scholar and theatermaker, holds an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, and has taught at institutions including Yale College, Yale School of Drama, Connecticut College, and Dartmouth College. Her dissertation explores the interplay between contemporary devised performance, support networks within a community of alternative artists, and urban revitalization in Philadelphia. She has written for both journalistic and scholarly publications, and specializes in experimental theater and devised performance. She works to unite the performing arts and academia as Curator of Academic Programming at the Hop, where she endeavors to engage the public in new ideas and forge connections between artists, scholars, and students. She is on the editorial board of a2ru’s Groundworks and leads the Hopkins Center’s Arts Integration initiative, putting the arts at the center of interdisciplinary education.

Debra Mexicotte received her BFA and MA in Theatre from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Michigan, and worked in local and regional theatre as a designer and painter before joining the University of Michigan. She has spent her career working initially with students and student organizations engaged with the arts to help them achieve their highest developmental aspirations, and more recently with faculty and administrators to integrate the arts and design with science and engineering across the curricular and co-curricular spheres. Deb was named Student Organization Adviser of the Year in 1999 and has led research efforts on the impact of the arts on students at U-M. Prior to the last six years at ArtsEngine, she spent eight years as the Program Director for Arts at Michigan, a co-curricular arts engagement program. Her experience in the community includes many years as a Trustee on the Ann Arbor Board of Education and leadership positions with the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission.