George Washington High School

Neighborhood: Northeast Philadelphia
George Washington is a traditional public high school. It draws students from the Greater Northeast of the City and is noteworthy for its diverse student body, which comes from 67 countries and speaks 28 languages.

Fall 2019
Classroom Teacher: Alisha Hagelin
Teaching-Artist: Joyce Millman

Students at George Washington High School explored the themes of personal voice and identity through print and bookmaking projects. The students engaged in a series of discussions, as well as artmaking and writing activities, to foster ideas for their artist books. They drew inspiration from texts like Sandra Cisneros’ A House on Mango Street, and from the artworks of William Kentridge and Dawoud Bey. Their individual voices emerged in their books. Each book included a personal statement, monoprints and drawings related to their name, where they are from and an issue they care about. One of the many benefits of this project was that students from differing ethnic backgrounds learned about nuances of each other’s cultures.