On Friday, May 31st, AGLA students were treated to a presentation by a panel from Art Center College of Design about their Designmatters anti-gun violence program. Designmatters is a part of Art Center that emphasizes public policy, global healthcare, sustainable development and social entrepreneurship and has been in existence for 11 years. The anti-gun violence program is aimed at children and has two different focus areas: “Where’s Daryl” for middle school ages and “Uncool 2: The Anti-Gun Violence Project” for 5 to 8 year olds.
The first part of the presentation, given first to a class of sixth graders and later to a class of ninth graders, included an introduction to the Designmatters program and a summary of the Where’s Daryl campaign. In this campaign, a series of public service announcements uses humor to show how Daryl’s friends react when he is sent to jail for bringing a gun to school. The message is poignant, showing all the things Daryl is missing out on because he is in jail. This program is aimed at kids who are at high risk for gun violence and is done in conjunction with LAUSD as an educational resource for teachers.
During the second part of the presentation, AGLAers learned about how Art Center students created children’s books and posters for the anti-gun violence campaign. They learned about the arduous process of illustration, especially when the subject matter is difficult. The resulting books center around a theme of how cool the world would be without guns in it – an effort to counteract the culture of guns in our society. Art Center College of Design has generously donated two sets of the books, one for each of our campuses. AGLA will also be receiving the "Where's Daryl" curriculum package this summer.
The panel from Art Center included Associate Professor David Tillinghast, who taught the illustration class that produced the books and posters, as well as two of the author/illustrators, Kin Lok (Zoarmax 133’s Big Question) and Juan Marco (My Imagination Book). Elisa Ruffino, Designmatters Director, introduced the projects, gave the history of the program and answered questions from students.
The Art Center team’s presentation was brought to AGLA by Fati Schureman, whose two sons, Milo and Kian attend AGLA. Fati’s husband Norman, a beloved Art Center professor, was killed in an act of gun violence in 2010. The Designmatters anti-gun violence program, while started before Norman’s death, has been dedicated to his memory.
You can also read more about this story on Art Center's blog.