Community Development – Norristown Arts

Professor Eric Malm leads the ECG 200 course Norristown Arts. One of the Engagements with the Common Good courses, this course focuses on Community Development, and specifically, the role that the Arts can play in community transformation efforts. Students are introduced to the concept of “Network Theory” and are asked to consider how informal relationships and networks can bring about change in place of or alongside more formal organizations. They are also asked to research ways in which the Arts have been used as engines of community development and to present their findings both in person and in writing. For the community-based learning aspect of the course, students partner with the Norristown Arts Task Force to plan, promote, and staff the Annual “Arts Hill” Festival. The syllabus reads: “By working side by side with a wide range of community members, students will experience first-hand the challenges and issues involved in building momentum for a long-range community initiative and directly contribute to the success of the festival event.”

Submitted by: J. Hasse, Reference Librarian

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