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We created the Protest + Print class as a venue for girls and gender-expansive youth to explore and express the complex personal and political issues that impact their daily lives through the medium of printmaking. This is a free after-school program for high school students, nearly all of whom identify as youth of color. Over the past few years, we’ve spoken with youth who feel deeply confused and worried about the future, but also inspired and hopeful that they can be the change they want to see. Protest + Print is rooted in “art as activism,” using print-making as a tool to amplify students’ creative voices. Printmaking has been used historically and recently as an artistic tool for protest, activism and social justice, and this program continues that legacy.

Each session, we challenge students to have personal and sometimes difficult conversations about the things that feel pressing in our lives: identity, consent, #MeToo, body image, mental health, gender discrimination, underrepresentation in politics, self-care, LGBTQ questions, and more. We use these conversations to make personal and collective print-based work, using screen printing, hand-drawing, wheat-pasting, and other large-scale graphic installation techniques to bring our voices to life. Previous projects have included a group “picket sign” poster, individual posters in response to social issues, an installation of wheat-pasted hand symbols at a local middle school, and a publicly exhibited collection of flag-inspired posters.

Please note that some of the content discussed in this course may be difficult, personal, and intense. We thank you for trusting us to have these conversations with girls, and we promise to create a safe and supportive space for activist artmaking.