Kimberly Griffith, a Cultural Policy Fellow from Lancaster, works as an Engagement Liaison at the Lancaster Museum of Art & History. She is currently completing a Master's in Cultural Studies and Museum Studies at Claremont Graduate University, where she hopes to learn to apply empathy, an enhanced understanding of diversity, and the inclusion of non-dominant narratives to her career as a museum professional. Griffith collaborated with local arts educator Kris Holladay and artist Nicolas Shake to lead the Lancaster Museum of Art & History’s Wasteland project in its second year. Wasteland employs hands-on art creation as a vehicle for teaching about the environmental, social, aesthetic, and economic impacts of illegal waste dumping on the High Desert ecosystem of the Lancaster area. Griffith brought Wasteland to R. Rex Parris High School, leading sessions on the dangers of illegal waste dumping and the history of recycled art. She facilitated trips to illegal dump sites in the Mojave desert, where students simultaneously assisted in a larger cleanup effort and collected materials to repurpose for their own recycled sculptures. Together, they constructed 9 life-sized Joshua trees made of organic materials, tin cans, and rolled paper. The project is designed to empower students by allowing them to hone their creative problem-solving skills. It also represents a successful implementation of interdisciplinary learning, with tie-ins to performing and visual arts, health, science, mathematics, and government. Griffith is currently working on expanding Wasteland by adding writing, music, and engineering to the curriculum and creating an instructional manual that will allow the program to reach a wider array of students.
Link to Project 1