With sponsorship from the LVEHC Mellon Grant, Muhlenberg professors Leticia Robles-Moreno and Matt Moore co-taught a new course this semester called “Devising Community.” This course explored the intersections of community engagement, performance making and ethnography. Students researched the lived histories of Allentown (especially immigrant experiences) alongside methods of performance creation and during periods of intense individual engagement with local institutions devoted to developing communities.
Participants of the course engaged with key sites around the Lehigh Valley (including the Sigal museum, the Lehigh Valley Historical Society, and the Native American Heritage Center), as well as local performances and cultural events dealing explicitly with specified communities and their representations.
While the class ended in December, a linked, devised production is currently in the rehearsal stage and is forthcoming. For the devised production, Robles-Moreno and Moore will be collaborating with the Baum school, multiple local entities devoted to cultural preservation and community formation, and up to seven local artists whose work is directly engaged with these themes.