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CMAP Student Spotlight: Anna Ladd, 2017–18 Cohort

January 26, 2018

*Anna Ladd is an artist who studied photography at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She uses image, installation, and sound to tell stories and create a dialog around social issues, and has helped to facilitate art projects between college and K-12 students. Her thesis work focuses on the power of participatory art and self-representation through visual media.*

What was the path that brought you to CMAP? After taking community engagement courses at the University of the Arts, I became really interested in connecting arts institutions to underserved schools helping young people advocate for themselves through visual media.

> > I became really interested in connecting arts institutions to underserved schools helping young people advocate for themselves through visual media.

What is one change you would like to see in the world? Slower conversations. Social media does a great job of piquing interest in issues and spreading mass awareness, but we often move on from things so rapidly that effective conversations and action don’t take place. Also: I hope my hamster lives forever.

What would you want the civic media community to know about you? I’m a practicing artist and I’m excited to see how some of the themes in my personal work, specifically humor and online performance/identity, can cross over into the civic media space.

Anna’s undergraduate thesis project

*Are there any specific projects that you’ve done in the past that intersect with your studies now? *My undergraduate thesis project was a satire of the game of Life that highlights the classist sentiments of the “American Dream.” Students and their families played it together at the exhibition, with the goal of facilitating conversations between millennials and their parents about some of the new challenges that they face when trying to achieve traditional “success” after graduating. I also made a series of pranks, performances, and installations to interrupt an ongoing anti-choice protest that took place outside of a Planned Parenthood.

How do you define engagement? What does being engaged mean to you?Listening, building relationships and working together with a community.

What are some of your favorite pieces of media? Right now, Jayson Musson’s Dunk on Trump game — and Darcie Wilder’s Literally show me a healthy person, a novel written from tweets.

What’s one fun fact most people don’t know about you? I’m in two bands and have been writing & recording my own music for nearly four years, despite a notable lack of musical training or skill.

Learn more about Civic Media, Art & Practice.

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