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South Broadway Cultural Center Hosts Artist-Author Arlene Goldbard for Workshops & Reading

New work asks "What Does it Mean to be Educated?"

April 3, 2023 - At South Broadway Cultural Center, fans of literary and visual arts will have the opportunity to meet and view the artwork of New Mexico-based acclaimed author, national speaker, activist, and visual artist, Arlene Goldbard. Goldbard, one of the founders of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, is a thought leader in the arts and self-proclaimed “autodidact.” Both her new visual and written work ponders the question, “What does it mean to be educated?” 

Two writing workshops, an evening reading, and an art exhibition inspired by Goldbard’s newest book, In the Camp of Angels of Freedom (New Village Press/NYU Press), are all free and open to the public this spring. Her artwork features 11 portraits of “angels” who have inspired her, including Nina Simon, John Trudell, and James Baldwin.

Goldbard’s angels art show opens Thursday, April 20 in the cultural center's gallery. Goldbard will also facilitate two workshops around the art and topics in the new book, one called “Encountering Your Angels” and another “What Does it Mean to Be an Educated Person?”, on April 21 and May 4, from 2-4 p.m.

Goldbard will wrap the series of events with a reading from the new book, on May 4 at 6 p.m., in the John Lewis Theater, which is free and open to the public. Goldbard’s new book, In the Camp of Angels of Freedom: What Does it Mean to be Educated, includes portraits of the 11 angels and a short memoir about each person; the second half of the book questions privileging credentials over the value of lived knowledge.

Goldbard sees each angel as a brave messenger of love and freedom for a society that badly needs “uncolonized minds.” In the book, she describes how the learning from each changed the course of her life in art and social activism.

Arlene Goldbard is a New Mexico-based writer, painter, speaker, consultant and cultural activist. Books include The Wave, The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future, New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, Community, Culture and Globalization, Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture, and Clarity, and In The Camp of Angels of Freedom: What Does It mean to Be Educated? She formerly served as Chief Policy Wonk of the US Department of Arts and Culture and President of The Shalom Center.


April 21, 2-4 p.m., SBCC Community Room: Encountering Your Angels: An Interactive Writing Workshop with Arlene Goldbard. The workshop if free and open to the public. RSVP to hold your spot at The workshop asks participants to tap into the true sources of their character, knowledge, skill, and wisdom through writing prompts, drawing, and group dialogue.

May 4, 2-4 p.m., SBCC Community Room: What Does It Mean to be an Educated Person? The workshop if free and open to the public. RSVP to hold your spot at Through readings, writing, and discussion, this workshop will help participants discover their own truest answers to a question that badly needs to be asked. Apart from formal education as a path to wealth or status: What does it really mean to be educated? 

May 4, 6-7:30 p.m., SBCC John Lewis Theater: In the Camp of the Angels of Freedom book reading. Free and open to the public (but reservations recommended at Goldbard will also sign books. In the Camp of the Angels of Freedom comes at its subject from three angles: paintings, including portraits of eleven individuals whose work helped Goldbard understand and become herself; a short memoir about each person, from James Baldwin to Paulo Freire to Alice Neel to Jane Jacobs; and essays that look at the harm that’s been done by privileging credentialed expertise and devaluing lived knowledge.