Annotated Bibliography Diversity & Inclusion 

Art Education

Acuff, J. B. (2020). Afrofuturism: Reimagining art curricula for Black existence. Art Education, 73(3), 13–21.

Acuff contextualizes Afrofuturism as a philosophical framework for an art curriculum which supports Black students’ identifying art as the primary means to envision their futures. She first briefly outlines the origins of Afrocentrism and its connection to the arts. Acuff then shows how an Afrofuturist art curriculum, through aesthetics, media, and language, can deconstruct and reimagine discourses and develop counter practices that decenter whiteness and the Eurocentric narrative of art, using examples such as the dichotomy of art versus craft, communal practices of art making, and language rooted in racialized power hierarchies. The article critically distinguishes between Afrofuturism and liberal multiculturalism, which might include African arts for the sake of visibility and token appreciation, yet stays rooted in the past, as it does with most non-Western cultures. Acuff states that Afrofuturism identifies the Afrodiasporic past as a vision of a future for all of humanity, no longer bound by post-colonialism.

Buffington, M. L., & Day, J. (2018). Hip hop pedagogy as culturally sustaining pedagogy. Arts, 7(4), 97.

Buffington and Day present hip-hop pedagogy as a version of culturally sustaining pedagogy (CSP) which can help art educators make their teaching more relevant to their students and contemporary culture. The authors, a professor and a graduate student, are both white women who acknowledge their responsibility in dismantling structural racism beyond performative allyship. They provide a brief summary of hip hop’s origins and characteristics before defining and describing hip hop pedagogy, including the use of cyphers, oral history, ethnography, and biography. They also stress the importance of referencing Black female and nonbinary artists when exploring hip hop. The article then uses the work of visual artist and DJ, Rozeal, to offer suggestions for incorporating elements of hip hop pedagogy into art curricula through a CSP lens. Rozeal’s work looks at racial stereotypes, the ideologies of representation and cultural identities, and the differences between appreciation and appropriation. The authors conclude that working to sustain and validate student-centered cultures is one way that white allies can help deconstruct systemic inequities.

Hudson, A. (2020). Learning from a young indigenous artist: What can hip hop teach us? Art Education, 73(1), 18–22.

Indigenous artists have taken up hip hop to express how settler colonialism has affected their lives, communities, culture, and language. Hudson cites the five elements of hip hop – MCing/rapping, graffiti, breakdancing, DJing, and knowledge of self– while also offering a definition of settler colonialism. Indigenous hip hop gives us new narratives of nationhood, pride, identity, and calls for sovereignty. She presents a profile of Bella, a 20-year-old Ojibwe woman in Toronto who took part in Hudson’s larger photography and hip-hop program with urban Indigenous youth. Hudson uses Bella’s music video We Still Hope as an example of introducing Indigenous hip hop and contemporary youth culture in the classroom. She proposes a culturally relevant art idea for middle and secondary students based around the question “What more do you want to know?” 

Kraehe, A. M., & Acuff, J. B. (2013) Theoretical considerations for art education research with and about “underserved populations.” Studies in Art Education, 54(4), 294-309.

Kraehe and Acuff analyze inequities and underservedness in art education through four theoretical perspectives – critical race theory, intersectionality, critical multiculturalism, and social justice education. The term underservedness focuses attention on social, cultural, and economic conditions which prevent certain groups from equal access to and benefit from resources and opportunities in education, including high-quality art experiences. They cite research which suggests that art education is implicated in the production and maintenance of social inequalities. After a succinct summary and analysis of each theoretical lens, the authors provide questions to frame and direct art education research according to each context. In conclusion, Kraehe and Acuff acknowledge how the four frameworks have helped expand their perceptions of and reflexivity toward unequal power relations and privilege, as well as forms of creative agency and resistance.

Kraehe, A. M., & Herman, D. (2020). Racial encounters, ruptures, and reckonings: Art curriculum futurity in the wake of Black Lives Matter. Art Education, 73(5), 4–7.

Kraehe and Herman state they wrote this editorial in reaction to the convergence of multiple crises – the COVID-19 pandemic and the much older disease of anti-black racism that has plagued America and much of the world touched by colonialism and imperialism. They acknowledge their perspective as Black people who are also primary caregivers trying to raise and protect Black children to adulthood. In order to understand anti-black racism, anti-blackness has to be confronted. They address the many forms of anti-blackness in art education, such as in the racially encoded value system tied to the psychology of color symbolism, or found embedded in seemingly nonracial materials and technologies to make and teach art. They then confront how art and its teaching have always been implicated in anti-blackness; it cannot be separated from its entanglement with histories of white supremacy and colonialism. Kraehe and Herman ask art educators to reflect on how they can be anti-racist beyond rhetoric and performative actions. They present three urgencies that must be met by art education as a field: they take a stand in the interest of the children who will inherit this society; make resolute commitments that align curriculum, pedagogy, and policy against white supremacy and anti-blackness; the first two actions will require an openness to be center the voices of Black people, Black artists, and Black leaders.

Rolling, J. H. (2020). Making Black lives matter: Toward an anti-racist artmaking and teaching agenda — part 1. Art Education, 73(5), 8–9.

This is an open letter to art educators from Rolling, President-elect of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and inaugural Chair of their new Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (ED&I) Commission. In response to the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd, Rollings calls for creative leaders to stand with NAEA and state organizations to actively create structural and systemic changes in workplaces, schools, and communities. He calls out the NAEA to be more forcibly anti-racist as an association in policy and structure, otherwise they remain complicit with institutionalized racism. Rolling gives a succinct description of racism as practiced in the United States, from the carceral system, to voting rights and education. He then presents some details of the institutionalized racism inherent in American education. He asks where the NAEA stands as an organization, and confronts its own lack of diversity in its membership and leadership. He names two priorities for the ED&I: implementing decisive actions to dismantle inequities within the national organization in an overdue cultural shift towards greater equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility; work with state organizations, art education partners, and members enact sustainable structures for infusing greater equity in their workplaces, schools, institutions, and communities.  

Music Education

Good-Perkins, E. (2021). Culturally sustaining music education and epistemic travel. Philosophy of Music Review, 29(1), 47-66.

Good-Perkins offers a complex analysis of how the Eurocentric paradigm in music education limits discussions and implementation of culturally relevant, responsive, and sustaining pedagogies by its enduring framework in coloniality. Many normalized values and instructional methodologies are tied to racist and colonial histories These patterns of power underlie color-blind, colonial-blind, and universalist beliefs that Western music and its performance practices, aesthetics, and values can transcend race, culture, and worldview. Prescriptive methods in the standard K-12 music classroom create “ontological distance” between teacher and student, which are founded in systematic use of Eurocentric methods, which manifest as objective racialization and disciplining of bodies. She uses the teaching of singing and “appropriate” ways of listening to music as examples of the dominant epistemological discourse. Culturally sustaining pedagogy is contextualized in the music classroom, while Good-Perkins also delves into Itinerant Curriculum Theory, which is a radical approach to dismantling the accepted Western canon and resurrecting marginalized epistemologies as a means of liberation, decolonization, and empowerment. Epistemic travel can close the ontological distance while opening the door for musical expression and embodied experiences based in ways of knowing music which are rooted within  the student.

Liu, C.-W. (2020). Sustaining cultures in the music classroom. General Music Today, 33(3), 58–60.

Liu explores strategies that music teachers may consider to strive for more balanced power relationships between different cultural groups in the classroom.  While it is important to recognize diversity in the classroom, it is equally important to sustain the various cultural and linguistic ways of students and communities. Citing Paris and Alim’s culturally sustaining pedagogy (CSP), Liu acknowledges the fluid relationship between past and present; where young people situate themselves on this cultural continuum depends on their lived experience and racial/ethnic, linguistic, and cultural identities. Based in CSP, she offers a few pedagogical ideas for teachers in their classrooms: music family tree project in which students interview various family members about their engagement with music; critical literacy analysis in which students explore music material from different cultures across time. Teachers must be open to sustain culture and language in ways that create space for disruption, emergence, and transformation.

Kindall-Smith, M., McKoy, C. L., & Mills, S. W. (2011). Challenging exclusionary paradigms in the traditional musical canon: Implications for music education practice. International Journal of Music Education, 4, 374-386. http://doi-10.1177/0255761411421075

The authors analyze the relationships between tenets of culturally responsive teaching (CRT) and the three dimensions of music education – musical content, instruction, and context. A diagram of a conceptual model illustrates the relationships in how teaching and learning are influenced by race, ethnicity, and culture. The conceptual model provides a framework for examining the phenomenon of missing voices in music education, using the omission of Black contributions to Appalachian music as a historical example. The absence of student and community voices in a pedagogical context is described by social justice and CRT in an urban university and middle school. Through a lens of critical pedagogy, the authors acknowledge  the implications that social justice, equitable access, and CRT create for addressing issues of power in music education and music teacher preparation. New approaches and conversations are needed for a paradigm shift from exclusionary musical repertoire and pedagogy. 

Disability Rights 

Keifer-Boyd, K., Bastos, F., Richardson, J. (Eisenhauer), & Wexler, A. (2018). Disability justice: Rethinking “inclusion” in arts education research. Studies in Art Education, 59(3), 267–271.

This commentary focuses on inclusionism language that works against disability justice, whose purpose it is to challenge the reliability of categories and definitions of disability. Inclusionism is grounded in institutional terminology which often becomes a systematic form of exclusion by isolating what is different from established norms. The authors seek models of art education which are freed form deficit mindsets and ableist rhetoric, thereby affording students and individuals with disabilities equity and agency. Inclusion is then positioned as qualitative rather than quantitative; instead of simply adding more bodies to the order of things, a shift in perspective occurs that acknowledges how disabled people change the order itself. Disability justice in art education includes artists with disabilities in the curriculum, challenging how people with disabilities are represented in the arts, addressing the lack of critical attention to disability within art education, the intersection of disability with other minority characteristics, and recognizing the perspectives of artists, students, teachers, and researchers with disabilities. I have included this article as the authors recognize special education as operating within the same power structures of white privilege ideology and institutionalized racism and ableism.

ELs & Bilingual Populations

Palmer Wolf, D., Holochwost, S. J., Bar-Zemer, T., Dargan, A., & Selhorst, A. (2014). “Some things in my house have a pulse and a downbeat”: The role of folk and traditional arts instruction in supporting student learning. Journal for Learning through the Arts, 10(1). 

The authors researched the connection between participation in Nations in Neighborhood (NiN), a program of folk and traditional arts instruction, and achievement in ELA in a sample of low-income elementary school students, including many recent immigrants and ELs. Values and practices expressed in folk and traditional arts allow students to tap into their own funds of knowledge embedded in lived experience and heritage, while supporting identity building as learners. Students acquire critical technologies of self which let them observe, apprentice, take risks performing, learn from errors, ask questions, compete, and eventually model in this instructional arts setting. Through anecdotal evidence from NiN, the authors give examples of  how four practices rooted in folk and traditional arts – sociocultural literacy, multimodal instruction, apprenticeship learning, and communal effort – are experienced through diverse cross-cultural dance, music, and visual art residencies with children. While the limitations of this study are astutely acknowledged, key findings show that participants in NiN earned significantly higher ELA scores than students who did not, arguing that reducing arts access in favor of more ELA instruction may in fact be counter-productive.


Yang, M.-J., & Hsieh, K. (2020). Queer up! Application of queer representation in art education. Visual Arts Research, 46(1), 49–60.

Yang and Hsieh advocate for an art room that supports positive LGBTQ+  representation and  interpretation, creating safe environments for queer curricula, self-expression, and social open mindedness. The authors confront dominant heteronormative ideology and aim to reveal and neutralize top-down power relationships within K-12 art classrooms. They cite both queer theory and dissensus theory to challenge binary frameworks and heterosexual discourse to enable a more inclusive conversation about gender identity. They then provide practical applications using images from “child-oriented media” to illustrate the lack of queer representation, or the presence of purely negative representation in queer coding. Yang and Hsieh provide examples of art projects with queer representation approaches, such as decoding media and designing a queer character. Further, the authors advocate for guiding pre-service teachers to develop a diversity mindset which incorporates queerness into the arts curriculum.


Downey, K. (2020). Reaching out, reaching in: Museum educators and radical transformation. Journal of Museum Education, 45(4), 375-388.

Downey offers a gender/queer perspective of their experience working with MoMA as an educator in communities that are oppressed by systematic racism, ableism, homo- and transphobia, and all intersections therein. The author uses queerness as a lens to show how inner and material realties are co-constituted in heteronormative white supremacy. The article uses the metaphor of educator-as-handle to show how educators are the doing of museums, creating relationships and facilitating experiences. Downey provides personal narratives to show how art making and art education support the reclaiming of freedom and agency which have been hegemonically denied. They also acknowledge the dangers of the handle role when educators move into communities as colonizer, or follow the banking model of education in which the student is an empty vessel the teacher fills with knowledge. Downey addresses the limits of empathy (being a “good white person”) in effecting real change in museums whose default targets are white, western, cis, straight, able-bodied, and neuronormative people. They believe the core of museum transformation rests in centering BIPOC and people with disabilities, with participatory education as a key agent for change.

Wexler, A. (2018). #BLACKLIVESMATTER: Access and equity in the arts and education. Art Education, 71(1), 20–23.

In this article, Wexler responds to a question posed by Kraehe and Acuff (2013), asking what barriers exist for recruiting and admitting students of color and low-income students into the art teaching profession. She examines educational and cultural institutions in which people of color have limited access, supporting the persistence of segregation by other means. Intentional integration rarely occurs in America unless it benefits white populations. Wexler portrays the experience of two authors of color seeking to address the visible and invisible inequalities their children face in the cultural capital and tastes perpetuated in predominantly white spaces, such as museums and galleries. Wexler cites concepts from the disability rights movement, such as radical accessibility, to de-orient the whiteness of art institutions and cultural milieus.

Rural and Place-Based Education

Bequette, J.W. (2014). Culture-based arts education that teaches against the grain: A model for place-specific material culture studies. Studies in Art Education, 55(3), 214–226.

This article relates the outcomes of Project Intersect (PI), a research-based arts grant which immersed over 1,000 Midwest K-8 students and 50 teachers in a four-year long culture-based arts integration (CBAI) project coordinated with Ojibwe tribal members, elders, and artists. CBAI generates place-based critical pedagogy which examines the dominant discourses of settler colonialism and the historical and contemporary perspectives of Indigenous material culture, personal narrative, and place-specific knowledge. PI shows how a power-sharing model of inquiry-based learning leads to multiple entry points for students to participate in reflective, transformative learning, including encounters with contemporary Indigenous art as a pedagogical site. Bequette details how the educational experiences achieved in PI increased student engagement with and appreciation for the cultures and ecology of a place, while also serving as a catalyst for new meaning making through place-specific social justice arts education

Prest, A. (2020). Cross-cultural understanding: The role of rural school-community music education partnerships. Research Studies in Music Education, 42(2), 208–230. https://doi-10.1177/1321103X18804280

Prest contributes to the literature on the inclusion of local Indigenous knowledge, pedagogy, and worldview in music education by profiling the cultural dialogue between settler and Tla’amin First Nation populations in British Columbia, which contributed to more harmonious social, cultural, political, and economic relationships. Her research asks how the bridging social capital created by a rural school-community music education partnership influences community identity, agency, and vitality, and shifts people’s conception of music education. Three conceptual frameworks informed her study: praxial music education philosophy, place-based/land-centered conscious education theory, and social capital. Land-centered pedagogies open opportunities to decenter colonial relations and recenter Indigenous knowledges and perspectives. She discusses the connection between social capital and Indigenous understandings of reciprocity.

Rearden, K. T., & Bertling, J. G. (2019). From sharks to “The Big Ugly”: A rural art teacher’s transition to place-based education. Rural Educator, 40(3), 49–61.

Research in arts education, access, and equity in urban populations is extensive, yet literature concerning rural populations is not as evident. Rearden and Bertling detail their case study of one rural elementary art teacher’s praxis for two years during which she attended professional development and then implemented place-based education (PBE). The authors contextualize PBE in a rural setting and highlight its potential to empower students to draw from their own base of knowledge, to form connections with community, to develop empathy with the environment, and to create the potential for ecological stewardship. As standardization in national educational agendas devalues place and ignores the lived experience and diverse perspectives of rural children, educators can make pedagogical choices in curricula that recognize place and explore its complexities. While PBE is most commonly found in science curricula, this article focuses on how it can be applied in art education. The case study presents data collected from the art teacher’s classes, anecdotal evidence from instruction, self-reflection from the art teacher, and an analysis of key findings. The authors also summarize the perceived benefits and challenges of implementing art PBE in a rural school setting.

Theater & Dance

Prichard, R. (2016). Honoring the past, changing the future: Bringing Native American voices into dance theory courses. Journal of Dance Education, 2, 39-47.

This article addresses the questions surrounding best practices that can help lead unfamiliar instructors in a respectful inclusion of Indigenous dance. While aimed at college level dance curricula, Prichard uses four premises to create a framework that is applicable to all studies of Native American dance and art: recognize the multiplicity of Native American cultures, including Pan-Indian identity; problematize the notion of authenticity; dispel the evolutionary fallacy in art and culture; use Indigenous voices to participate in the construction of their own image and transmission of their culture. Prichard moves from discussion to practice by giving classroom examples for an introductory dance theory class and then gives the benefits of teaching Native American dance. He also provides questions which may lead instruction and discussions, and connect to big ideas about dance and culture, including considering the colonial gaze in the construction of stereotypes and looking at white appropriation of Indigenous beliefs, traditions, and arts. Prichard stresses the importance of respect and reciprocity in the use of other cultures – usually those oppressed by white settler colonialism – beyond the rhetoric of honoring.

Schroeder-Arce, R. (2014). Toward culturally responsive artistry: Implications for institutions, artists, educators and audiences. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 15(20).

Drawing from culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP), Schroeder-Arce uses the term culturally responsive artistry as a paradigm for theater that reflects the cultures and identities of the communities in which it is performed. A case study of the production of Mariachi Girl, a bilingual Spanish/English musical for children in Austin illustrates how Gay’s five principles of CRP may be applied to theater craft and production (artistry) and theater education. She applies each of Gay’s five principles to the production of Mariachi Girl, to show how audience-centered theater mirrors student-centered classrooms, going beyond the Eurocentric viewpoint of traditional theater. Schroeder-Arce offers many statistics and anecdotes in her case study and concludes with ideas for next steps in culturally responsive artistry.