George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Arts in Context

The arts create community. At Mason, artistic vision sparks global conversation.

Two new series,  Kritikos and Global Arts Coffeehouse, bring Mason artists, scholars and neighbors into conversation about artistic work on the global scene as well as a thoughtful approach to the arts. 

Please see the calendar for a list of current events. Check back for updates throughout the year.

These events are free and open to the public.


Kritikos engages topics such as writing about the arts, critical studies, translation, the artist in society, and art as speech.

Black Lives Matter Books

Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin

Fridays, 1-2:30 pm, from June 26-August 14, 2020

Dear Members of the CVPA Community:

Inspired by recent mass actions and worldwide protests demanding racial justice, CVPA’s Arts in Context has started the Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group, moderated by Mason faculty members Jessica Kallista and Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, with help from co-organizers, Aishah-Nyeta Brown, Natalie Ledesma, Sang Nam, and Aries Wilson.

Members of the CVPA community will meet in Summer 2020 for 90-minute sessions once a week, but with a goal of long-term commitment to relationship building, awareness, reimagining, and action, around anti-racist practices, racial justice, and the creation of conversations as well as systems of compassion and healing. We will focus on anti-black racism and its effects on society. 

Grounded in the knowledge that it is not a question of whether we are racist, but rather how racism is expressed and experienced in ourselves, our lives, our behaviors, and our institutions, we will explore books, music, art, essays, podcasts, and documentaries that allow us to critically question and consider our roles as artists, thinkers, citizens, and creatives in a society founded on racist values and practices.

All are welcome. If you are currently benefiting from the existing racist system, we ask only that you arrive

  1. ready to learn or expand your understanding of the role you play in sustaining the existing system, and
  2. willing to lean into the discomfort necessary to learn how to live in an ever-increasingly anti-racist way.

Every Friday, June 26-August 14, 1-2:30 pm. 

We hope you can join us!
Jessica and Kristin

Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group Weekly Schedule (Subject to Change)

Week One
June 26, 2020:
Intro, Check Your Privilege, Role of the Artist in Society, Rules of Engagement

Week Two
July 10, 2020:
Race in Academia & #BlackintheIvory (Aries Wilson, co-moderator)

Week Three
July 17, 2020
: Defunding the Police, 13th, The New Jim Crow, MPD 150

Week Four
July 24, 2020
: Representation Matters, Questioning and Decolonizing Your Syllabus, Race in the Classroom, Shakiyla Sincere from ODIME

Week Five
July, 31, 2020
: Race and Climate Change (Aishah-Nyeta Brown, co-moderator)

Week Six
August 7, 2020:
Race in the Arts (Sang Nam, co-moderator)

Week Seven
August 14, 2020:
Race, Rest, and Pleasure, Who deserves to rest?, The Nap Ministry, Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown

Readings for Our Second Discussion on July 10
Join us for Our Second Discussion via Webex on July 10

Race in Academia & #BlackintheIvory (Aries Wilson, co-moderator)

Friday, July 10, 2020, 1:00-2:30pm

Webex link

Meeting number: 120 645 1254

Password: 5Jg7e2yBskm

Note: Please remember to silence your mic and other alerts before entering the meeting.

Alternate Host: Aries Wilson; Jessica Kallista; Kristin Johnsen-Neshati; Sang Nam

Join by video system
You can also dial and enter your meeting number.

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0003 US Toll
+1-202-860-2110 United States Toll (Washington D.C.)
Access code: 120 645 1254

Want to read ahead? Readings for Our Third Discussion on July 17

Global Arts Coffeehouse

LADAMA at George Mason University

Female Latin powerhouse group LADAMA (LA Weekly)

The Global Arts Coffeehouse centers on the work of international artists, globalization in the arts, and cross-cultural artistic exchange. This series highlights artists with international impact and provides opportunity for Mason students and the community to learn about their work. Each of these events is free and open to the public. 

Ladama masterclass at Mason

LADAMA holding a drumming workshop for percussion students at Manassas Park High School and Mason students enrolled in World Music Classes.

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