Dickens 2012 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens with an international celebration of his life and work. From exhibitions to immersive theater performances, Dickens 2012 celebrates the legacy and contemporary impact of Dickens’s work with arts events across 50 countries.
In the United States, the British Council partnered with The Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York for Sketching the City, a project linking diverse local communities with the modern legacy of Charles Dickens’s writing. The project featured three parts: a series of professional development workshops for teachers and young curators, a high school art and writing contest, and an exhibition of selected contest entries at the Bronx Museum.
We held a Dickens-themed professional development workshop and birthday celebration at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on February 7, 2012, Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday. The workshop was led by Charles Dickens expert Dr. Jonathan Farina and encouraged educators to teach the best of Dickens’s work by breaking his longer tomes into manageable pieces.
The Sketching the City Contest called on New York high school students to find inspiration in the writings and illustrations of Dickens’s Sketches by Boz, a social realist collection published early in his career. The high school teens were encouraged to assume the role of Boz (Charles Dickens’s pen-name) and use their local community as inspiration to create their own works of creative writing, photography, and visual art.
A series of professional development curatorial workshops for Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Teen Council alumni and art college students was held at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Together the alumni selected the winning contest submissions and curated the Sketching the City exhibition.
Selected works from the Sketching the City contest were exhibited at The Bronx Museum of the Arts from March 30th to April 6th.
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