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Poggio Serves as Mentor-in-Residence for Project Social Impact Summer Institute
Poggio (standing, far right) leads participants in a planning session at the Project Social Impact Summer Institute.
Natacha Poggio, assistant professor of visual communication design at the Hartford Art School, participated as mentor-in-residence for the inaugural Project Social Impact Summer Institute, in which 15 global fellows were selected to attend an inspiring two-week retreat at Harlow Bay Mansion in Kingston, Mass.
These future change-agents traveled from near and far locations—from Austin, Texas, and as far as France, Brazil and Chile—to become a community of artists, social activists, teachers, filmmakers and actors who believe in art's ability to break down cultural barriers and bring about social change. Through an interdisciplinary approach to community engagement, cultural empathy, and conflict transformation through the medium of art, participants were exposed to social change speakers, workshops, resources, and the sharing of practical skills for the development and dissemination of social impact projects.
As mentor-in-residence, Poggio kicked-off the program with a two-day workshop helping participants identify their life/work values, develop their creative mindsets, and brainstorm idea-generation techniques. In addition, they interacted with activities that incorporated information along design thinking strategies to craft an outline and path for implementation of social impact projects. At the end of the retreat, participants presented their ideas (PechaKucha style) to determine the ones worth developing.
Besides Poggio, two representatives of the University of Hartford community participated in the workshop: Visual Communication Design senior students Alexandria Thatcher (who worked on her Dorothy Goodwin Summer Scholarship project funded by WELFund) and Megan Johnson, who also was one of the resident fellows, working on a college fitness program to benefit freshmen students.