Fall 2013  •  Vol. 1, No. 2

Heidi Upton, Amanda Gulla, Holly Fairbank, editors

Maxine Greene Center



"The space of aesthetic education, then, must remain open, even as the spaces of education generally must remain open. We can no more institute an aesthetic experience in another person than we can "learn" another human being. We have to appeal to people's capacities for "choice and valuation," their imaginative capacities, to their ability to take initiatives and attend actively. I trust we can do this in situations where students and teachers both are responsive"
Greene: Spaces of Aesthetic Education, 61

Welcome to all our new members!



With the MG Center’s redesigned website ready to launch soon, the Board has made a concerted effort to reach out to all of you who have been inspired and sustained by Maxine’s work. Prior to the roll-out of our new website this fall, you can become a member now by visiting our current website:

This coming year we will be developing affiliations with arts organizations, educational institutions and other entities sympathetic to our goals. Lehigh University’s Urban Principal’s Academy @ Lehigh (UPAL) is one example of such an affiliation. This past summer, board members (and teaching artists) Holly Fairbank and Heidi Upton conducted AE workshops for UPAL along with its  director Jon Drescher. Maxine Greene was invited to give lectures to another of our affiliates, Lincoln Center Education (LCE), during their Summer Session in July. Greene was honored, in September, by Urban Word, NYC , another affiliate, as they inaugurated a Poet Laureate program in her name. In coming months, the Center will participate in numerous events, and will be hosting our own as we establish our presence in the community.

The Board Report


The New Board of Directors for The Maxine Greene Center, Inc. is now fully in place.

 In June, 2013,  David Gonzalez accepted the nomination to step in as Secretary,  and Dean Michael Gillespie of Borough of Manhattan College (BMCC) joined the Board. All of our Board members are leaders in their fields, devoted friends of Maxine’s and true believers in the power of her work to make a difference through aesthetic education and  social imagination.

The Board approved the new Bylaws, recently redesigned with care to reflect the mission of the Center. Developed by Board member Mary Bullock,  these Bylaws provide a structure that will guide and sustain the organization going forward.
To facilitate the activities planned for the near future,  the Board has put in place numerous Committees, each chaired by a Board member, including  members of our emerging Advisory Board. These committees include an Executive Committee, as well as Archival, Fundraising, PR, Communications/Website, Newsletter, Events and Professional Development/Education Committees. Let us know if you would like to become involved by contacting us through our website.

 The Archives

The Center’s Archival Committee, chaired by Board member Janet Miller, has been working with Board President, Maxine Greene,  to label photos, sort through her early papers and read through  letters. Our goal is to identify how best to situate these items in the Pocket Knowledge files at Teacher’s College. All materials gathered will ultimately be
digitized for research purposes and, in some cases, will be available for public dissemination via the new Maxine Greene Center (MGC) website.
This process over the last year has been extremely gratifying for all involved. Maxine has been delighted to rediscover early journal entries from her high school years as well as letters from friends, students and fans over the entirety of her adult life. We are eager to preserve this treasure trove of materials and make accessible, according to Maxine’s wishes.

AE in the wild

AE in the Wild is pleased to highlight the upcoming exhibition AN OPEN BOOK at Western Michigan University by painter and aesthetic educator Barbara Ellmann


Barbara Ellmann and AN OPEN BOOK

Long associated with Lincoln Center Education (LCE) as well as many other major arts organizations (including Education for the Arts, with whom she partners in this effort), Barbara has developed this exhibition with the intention of making explicit connections between two great loves: art making and aesthetic education. Collaboration is a key element of the exhibition, as Barbara explains: "AN OPEN BOOK is an invitation into the reflexive natures of artistic practice and aesthetic education; instruction and learning; experience and perception; subject and object. In this framework constituent bodies–practical, curatorial, educational, participant–collaborate for a unique exhibition model that serves and enriches each respective body."  Indeed, as she states, "the exhibition is meant to be “read” via visual or overall aesthetic language so any narratives will arise from viewer response to, and exchange with, the works." This is a traveling exhibition, so look for AN OPEN BOOK to come to an art space near you sometime in the future! And in the meantime, visit Barbara's wordpress blog!

AE On Campus:


Jon Drescher, Professor of Practice and Director of the Urban Principals Academy at Lehigh University



Jon Drescher, Professor of Practice and Director of the Urban Principals Academy at Lehigh University (UPAL) comments on his work in the context of aesthetic education and social imagination:

Is there a better path for emerging school leaders to take than to become aware of how to develop and sustain a true community of learners? My goal is to bring a variety of experiences, many of which are aesthetically based, to my Educational Leadership graduate students. By having experiences, such as our “Art of Observation” classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or, a seminar on “Collaboration, Improvisation and Connections” at Jazz @ Lincoln Center (JALC) done in coordination with the Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination, I have seen my students, who are working urban educators, become brilliantly alive in terms of shifting their vision for becoming dynamic and successful school leaders. They have become aware of the importance of self-reflection. They have learned to appreciate the necessity of sharing perspectives and collaborating to bring projects to fruition. Mostly, they have become well fortified, through these aesthetic experiences, to disrupt the stagnation that has engulfed our K-12 schools for decades by inspiring, and supporting, creative teaching to meet the needs of the students within their learning community.


The Conference Report:



Maxine Greene Center is Officially Launched at The College of New Rochelle
The first annual Imagination, Inquiry, and Innovation Institute, hosted by the College of New Rochelle on Saturday March 2nd,   was the perfect venue for the official launch of The Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and the Social Imagination. This conference, intended to share and promote innovative practices in education, the arts, health care, science, technology and business, brought together representatives from these diverse fields to explore questions of how imagination, inquiry and innovation play a role exemplary practice across a wide variety of disciplines. As the event officially launched The Maxine Greene Center, many of the presentations included explorations of principles of aesthetic education.

The opportunity to gather with professionals and students who shared similar philosophies within disparate fields set this apart from other conferences. The day included several sessions that gave attendees the opportunity to consider philosophy and practice together. The tone was set during a keynote address by Anna Deavere Smith, whose speech wove together anecdotes that illustrated the ways that deeply noticing the world around us tends to result in kindness, and how the converse is often true when people fixate on goals to the exclusion of all else. Smith’s stories served as a metaphor for the narrow definitions of success currently occupying the culture.  She led the audience to question a worldview in which one may be victorious in achieving a goal while failing in one’s humanity. Her address created a framework to illustrate the social imagination in action; the way we see the world governs the way we are in the world.

  Finally, there was the panel discussion that featured Maxine Greene and Holly Fairbank, the co-founders of the Center, along with teaching artist Jean Taylor, librarian Alison Lehner-Quam and Professors Jon Drescher of Lehigh University and Ruth Zealand of The College of New Rochelle. Maxine talked about the power of encounters with works of art to change lives. The panel fielded questions from the audience and both panel and audience, members shared experiences of aesthetic education in action in schools and the importance of imaginative teaching and learning.


This message was successfully carried through the day as storyteller David Gonzalez accompanied by composer David Kelly presented the story of Sleeping Beauty. The performance wove together humor, music, and Gonzalez’s magnificent storytelling to demonstrate the arts’ powerful capacity to provoke thought and engage audiences.

Membership Information

If you have ever had the experience of reading Maxine Greene's works or hearing her speak live - we know you've been challenged, changed and inspired to "imagine the world as if it might be otherwise."

To Donate/Become a Member

The Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination needs your support. Our mission is to preserve, cultivate and extend MaxineE¼s legacy. While much of this work is well underway, funds are needed now to develop and sustain our interactive website, among other projects.

For a basic yearly fee of $25 you can become a member of MGC, keep informed of our events, receive monthly quotations, and be a part of the community in our database. Anything above that amount, of course, would be most welcome!


Thank you for your generosity! The Maxine Greene Center is a 503 (c ) (3) organization so your donation is fully tax deductible.





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