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A Theory of Change: How the Mind, the Heart, and the Future can be Shaped Through Creative Expression

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The goal of this thesis was to create a theory of change for an annual Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) that offers youth with trauma histories opportunities to cultivate protective factors associated with resilience. MAC is designed to promote four primary

The goal of this thesis was to create a theory of change for an annual Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) that offers youth with trauma histories opportunities to cultivate protective factors associated with resilience. MAC is designed to promote four primary protective outcomes among its participants: (1) safety, (2) self-expression, (3) skill-building and (4) self-efficacy through exploration of various multicultural art forms and connecting with caring adults. The theory of change was informed by my observations during my experience as a MAC volunteer and my review of academic literature to better define and understand how various factors involved in the MAC program are linked to resilience processes. Arts programming can provide opportunities for youth who have experienced trauma to feel safe enough to engage in self-expression and build corresponding skills that promote feelings of self-efficacy. Building these protective factors thereby strengthens children’s capacity for resilience. Accordingly, the theory of change articulates program activities and processes that promote these outcomes among participating youth. Program directors may draw on the theory of change for strategic planning and evaluation efforts assessing the program’s processes and corresponding impact.

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2020-05

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The Role and Function of Feature Film Trailers as a Marketing Tool and Artform

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Trailers are an effective tool used by marketing teams in the film industry to persuade people to spend money to see a movie. Their role in film marketing has changed and exponentially increased throughout the history of the medium, and

Trailers are an effective tool used by marketing teams in the film industry to persuade people to spend money to see a movie. Their role in film marketing has changed and exponentially increased throughout the history of the medium, and their form is constantly evolving. While the core function of trailers is to advertise a finished product, they are created with a focused effort on grabbing an audience's attention and initiating an emotional interaction. The development of a feature film trailer by an organized marketing group is also an artistic venture that requires a high level of proficiency at editing and storytelling to effectively communicate the necessary elements of a film in an effort to persuade. Trailer making is a craft honed by an extraordinary amount of person-hours and intentionality, with a blend of plenty of diegetic and non-diegetic functions which exhibit the best parts of a movie. While trailers can suffer from hyperbolicism as well as excessive genre signaling, it's important to stand out and prove a product worthy of a customer's dollars especially in a film culture saturated with content. As marketing budgets continue to balloon in the entertainment industry, it seems that trailers will continue to be a mainstay of promoting art, and will evolve to fit any societal shifts they encounter.

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2018-05

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Precarious Fauna: An Art Exhibition

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Human nature drives us to focus primarily on the present or near-future, instead of considering what consequences our actions may have many years from now. However, in a new era that is increasingly dominated by humans and their ambitions, this

Human nature drives us to focus primarily on the present or near-future, instead of considering what consequences our actions may have many years from now. However, in a new era that is increasingly dominated by humans and their ambitions, this tendency has destructive repercussions on the very environment that once supported and nurtured humankind. Wild animals are highly susceptible to human activities that damage ecosystems, and a loss of animal diversity can have unforeseen consequences on future human populations. In the research, I examine the avoidable reasons for the severe decline in population of four animal species, and through my art, imagine the losses associated with their disappearance. The artwork created evokes an emotional response in the viewer through dramatic, contrasting imagery, making them reassess the relationship between humans, animals and the environment.

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2018-05

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Calculative Thought with a Meditative Purpose: Forensic Science and Hermeneutic Thought

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As human beings we go through the world interpreting – seeing a situation, gathering context, and making a decision on the meaning of the thing we just experienced. The philosopher Martin Heidegger calls this way of being hermeneutics – a

As human beings we go through the world interpreting – seeing a situation, gathering context, and making a decision on the meaning of the thing we just experienced. The philosopher Martin Heidegger calls this way of being hermeneutics – a practice of interpretation. This method of approach does not ignore a person’s bias, instead bias is highlighted, understood, and possibly even overcome. In the following pages the basic definition and process of hermeneutics will be discussed. Leading into the difference between calculative and meditative thought – scientific and philosophical – in order to later discuss the possibility and need to merge the two in the field of Forensic Science. Forensic Scientist uses hermeneutic thought by way of merging calculative and meditative thinking. In order to support this claim artistic renderings of ‘the pieces of an unknowable whole’ were created to literally illustrate this truth.
Forensic science is tasked with using calculative thinking with scientifically accepted methods of measurement and detection as well as the meditative task of applying their data to messy, real-world events. In order to support my supposition of forensic scientists being hermeneutical workers, three paintings were created. The three paintings can be considered a tryptic of sorts due to the context in which they are presented: forensic science. They each tell a story that is weaved within each other – spatter indicating violence long past, the empty void of a body gone, and the cold decomposition of a victim found. It is the forensic scientist that must interpret each piece separately and is tasked with finding how and why they are put together. The hermeneutical work of the forensic scientist interpreting a crime scene uses the same methods as one who interprets text. A forensic scientist opens possibilities of meaning in the same way that Martin Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle does. There is interplay between the interpreter (the forensic scientist) and the text (the crime scene), questions are formed (what happened here?) and responses are made (evidence found at the scene). This question and response outlook is what make the forensic scientist a hermeneutic thinker.

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2018-05

Humans of Phoenix

Description

This project, originally inspired by the photography blog Humans of New York, is a series of digitally drawn portraits and profiles of individuals in the downtown Phoenix area. Phoenix is a relatively young city and the city's character and style

This project, originally inspired by the photography blog Humans of New York, is a series of digitally drawn portraits and profiles of individuals in the downtown Phoenix area. Phoenix is a relatively young city and the city's character and style has not yet been cemented. But this city is just as lively and interesting as older, more established places and deserves the same kind of attention that people documenting their homes have given their subjects.

The profiles, which have been collected at https://rebeccaspiess.com/humans-of-phoenix-pg/, were created from subjects I met at coffee shops, art galleries, on study abroad trips and through personal research. The only criteria for inclusion in the project was their connection to Phoenix. Additionally, because of the digital nature of the portraits, I have included timelapse videos showing the process of creating each image on my YouTube channel, called Rebecca Spiess.

I want the “Humans of Phoenix” project to be like speed-dating the city, getting to know the stories and the people you might pass on the street. People love to get a glimpse into the lives of others. I love the thrill of meeting new people with great stories, and I want the readers of this project to get that satisfaction as well. And hopefully, I want these narratives to engage readers in a way that elicits empathy, understanding and excitement.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Diana Holladay: Remembering An Artist

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Diana Holladay was a mother, sister, daughter, wife, grandmother, friend, and artist. She played many roles and impacted many lives. She sought out beauty and brought it into the world through her art. When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

Diana Holladay was a mother, sister, daughter, wife, grandmother, friend, and artist. She played many roles and impacted many lives. She sought out beauty and brought it into the world through her art. When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease her family watched her fade away. The Diana they knew and loved was no longer there. They could not mourn the loss of her being. This creative project served the purpose of exploring Diana’s past and art in order to help her family mourn and celebrate the woman she once was. The goal was to create a final art show and living memorial for Diana. The final art show would foster a sense of family, appreciation, and love. She had hundreds, if not thousands of sketches and pictures. She had a huge collection of painting left behind. During this project they were collected and organized for the show. Diana died exactly one month before the show. Her death brought her family together and helped them mourn. The art show was held in the Sedona Art Center where Diana once held art classes and her husband, Jim, layed the sandstone on the outside of the building. After her death, the attendance of her show nearly tripled. Hundreds of Diana’s family and friends celebrated this amazing woman. This creative project helped honor an incredible woman who truly changed lives and lead her life with love. This thesis helped us remember the woman and artist Diana Holladay was before her diagnosis and death. The final creation of this project was a website dedicated to Diana and her art and an essay describing the journey of this thesis.
www.dianaholladay.com

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Date Created
2019-05

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Lullabye

Description

Psychology and dance both shed light on the question: how do our personal, life experiences affect our movement? This document introduces elements from psychology and dance through associative learning, attachment styles, muscle patterning, and partner improvisation as ways of exploring

Psychology and dance both shed light on the question: how do our personal, life experiences affect our movement? This document introduces elements from psychology and dance through associative learning, attachment styles, muscle patterning, and partner improvisation as ways of exploring this question. It aims to briefly introduce these theories and explain how they had a role in the research of the creative project. It also documents the inception, creation, and production of Lullabye, a dance work intended to be accessible to an audience with little to no experience viewing concert dance, with the target audience specifically being the writer’s mother. It has three sections, each featuring a different element of dance, storytelling, and individuality. It starts a conversation on how emotions and thoughts related to personal experiences can affect our movement.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Unique High Fire Glaze Development

Description

Experimentation with glaze materials resulted in 2 functional and interesting base glazes with multiple color variants each. A semi-matte stoneware glaze was created, however after being unable to replicate a specific coloring without drying out the glaze, it was discovered

Experimentation with glaze materials resulted in 2 functional and interesting base glazes with multiple color variants each. A semi-matte stoneware glaze was created, however after being unable to replicate a specific coloring without drying out the glaze, it was discovered that using this glaze to spray over specific studio glazes produced a more pleasant color effect than the glaze by itself. A glossy clear glaze was created. The glaze crazed minimally, and color variants were created with the rare earth metals erbium, praseodymium, and neodymium, resulting in celadon-like glazes that were pink, green, and bluish purple respectively. Finally, A semi-matte stoneware glaze with high spodumene content was created with two specific color variations

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2019-05

The Story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Description

The story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is one of a woman who defied the odds of her time. Sor Juana was a nun born in the 1600's in Mexico. From an early start, she had an endless

The story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is one of a woman who defied the odds of her time. Sor Juana was a nun born in the 1600's in Mexico. From an early start, she had an endless passion for knowledge and always strove to learn as much as she could. She went on to become a nun at the Convent of Santa Paula and used her intellect to advocate for women's rights. Though met with opposition, she wrote many poems, letters, and even plays which included her strong push for women's equality. However, the name Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is almost never mentioned in popular feminist discourse, despite Sor Juana being credited as one of the first feminist authors. This paper works to not only tell the story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in detail, but also works to answer the question, "Why do people not know about Sor Juana". By diving into the origins of the Feminist movement in the United States, the dark underbelly of Feminism is uncovered. Primarily, the topic of how racism in feminism has plague the civil rights movement, what damage has been done to people of color because of feminism's history, and how does that pertain to modern day feminism and Sor Juana. By telling her story through both written and visual aids, the voice of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is no longer silenced but free to tell her tale and move a generation.

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Date Created
2018-12

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With Each Passing Day

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With Each Passing Day is a thesis exhibition presented in Northlight Archive in Tempe, AZ, accompanied by a photographic book. This work investigates me and my changing relationship with my mother as I grow into a young woman and slowly

With Each Passing Day is a thesis exhibition presented in Northlight Archive in Tempe, AZ, accompanied by a photographic book. This work investigates me and my changing relationship with my mother as I grow into a young woman and slowly finding more of her qualities within myself as each day passes. This thesis project explores the process of growth, finding independence, and understanding acceptance and control.

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Date Created
2019-05