Overcoming Differences through Art

2023tue07nov11:30 amtue1:00 pmOvercoming Differences through ArtIn-Person Lunch & Learn11:30 am - 1:00 pm Event TagsCommunication,Organizational Culture,Self-Awareness,Team Building

Event Details

Sponsored by:

Look Closely:
Building Teams and Overcoming Differences through Art

As human beings, we look for patterns and similarities and often connect with people similar to us. While this was helpful for survival long ago, today it runs counter to the diversity of experience and ideas organizations need on their teams to succeed. To counter “affinity bias,” the tendency of humans to gravitate to people similar to themselves, participants will view and discuss art and photographs to experience, describe, analyze, and interpret subjects that promote flexible, critical, and creative thinking.

The facilitator will use stimulating images with the museum-developed teaching method of Visual Thinking Strategies to promote open discussion. Research shows that “our preference for the safety of the familiar can curb creativity, undermine collaboration, and close our minds to novel ideas and new perspectives.” (Davis, 2020) By offering this training to organizational groups of 2 – 3 members, the goal is to demonstrate how ideas can be generated through neutral and open-ended questions using a new kind of team-building experience. Team members will build affinity through their shared experiences while building awareness of “in-group” and “out-group” tendencies.

Davis, Jeffrey. The Bias Against Difference. Psychology Today. June 25, 2020

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe effectively new experiences through selected images
  2. Build on the ideas of others
  3. Use open-ended questions to generate more ideas
  4. Facilitate related conversations
  5. Learn how unfamiliar authentic materials generate creative and critical thinking

This program is ideal for:  individuals or groups of 2 – 3 from the same organization (staff, board members, volunteers)

Cost: Free for SLA Members. $80 non-member. $60 nonprofits.

Individuals who are either unemployed or connected with an employer who is unable to pay can request scholarships for any of our programs.


About Our Facilitator

Tania Said is the Vice President of Exhibitions and Programs at Minnetrista Museum and Gardens and has worked in museums for over 30 years. She also consults with various nonprofits throughout the state. Tania’s educational philosophy relies on authentic materials, deep listening, and social learning based on decades of working to improve access to museums and education. Tania’s work experience includes employment at the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, Ball State University’s David Owsley Museum of Art, Bead Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, George Washington University’s Dimock Gallery, Corporation for National and Community Service, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and American Alliance of Museums. Tania serves her community through board service and volunteering with the Human Library, Muncie Arts, Muncie Women of Color, Ross Community Center, and is a board member of the Association of Indiana Museums and peer reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums accreditation and assessment programs.