Community . Barbara Chira
On faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Art since 2006, Barbara Chira has also been Academic Director of CIA's burgeoning academic vision, Cores + Connections, since July, 2013: core values of faculty mentorship, studio and academic rigor, and state-of-the-art curriculum, all power extensive connections for student engagement in community-based learning, real-world professional projects, and socially engaged practices in art and design. Chira is also a practicing artist, having maintained a studio in the Superior Arts Corridor since 2002. Her commitment to the ideals of a social practice has included projects with homeless women and children at the Salvation Army's Harbor Light Complex and with HIV-positive children in Youngstown (exhibited at the McDonough Museum of Art). In more recent years, she has created temporary spaces in public and facilitated strangers coming together in meaningful conversation. At CIA, Chira has been championing new socially engaged project courses for students, related to poverty, homelessness, health care, and the environment, with partners including the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Metroparks, and Cuyahoga County's homeless service organizations. This commitment to socially engaged art is also informed by Chira's previous 12-year career in community health and human services in the County, including several years as a case manager working with people in their homes in Cleveland's highest-poverty neighborhoods.
Degree BA, Studio Art, Ursuline College; MA student, Advanced Inquiry, Miami University