Teaching & Community Art

Since 1990, Violet Harlo’s mission as an artist is to bring art to the people to inspire creativity and connection. To achieve this goal, Violet creates and presents performance art and also creates and coordinates art events for the public. To this end, Violet currently serves as the Creative Community Engagement Coordinator of the Alameda County Arts Commission coordinating the following programs:

  • 300 free arts events at 12 locations serving 150,000 residents annually in the month of March as part of the the Art IS Education partnership with Alameda County Library and the Alameda County Office of Education.
  • Family art workshops through the 100 Families Alameda County program that brings together diverse, intergenerational families to strengthen family bonding through art making.
  • Arts programming specifically designed for Veterans to explore art making, express themselves, learn new skills, and create art in community.
  • Year-round exhibitions at two galleries in Alameda County facilities as part of the Art in Public Spaces program.

In addition, Violet Harlo is a passionate teaching artist who has taught a wide range of artistic media to community members of all ages. Harlo believes everyone should have access to the arts, and it shows in the range of contexts Violet has worked in for the past 27 years: universities, arts organizations, city programs, public schools, veteran centers, a county hospital, migrant camps, homeless shelters, a tribal reservation school, and a safe house for children orphaned in the US without immigration papers.

At the university level, Harlo has been a visiting artist and lecturer at 20 universities including California Institute of the Arts, San Francisco Arts Institute, San Diego State University, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and Washington University. From 1995-1998, Violet directed the 4D Institute for Live Art in San Diego working with community members to uncover and share their stories through performance.  From 2005-2012, Harlo had a long-term relationship with the Performance Studies Ph.D. program of Southern Illinois University as a visiting artist.  In 2008 and 2010, Violet taught performance courses coordinated by Kimberly Dark for Cal State Summer Arts intensive program in Fresno, CA.

Trained at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero, Harlo has developed classroom tools for teachers, teaching artists, arts organizations and school districts to document student learning in the arts. Harlo has guest lectured on arts integration for teacher certification programs at California College of the Arts, Mills College and UC Berkeley. In addition, Harlo has taught professional development workshops for arts organizations, school district teams, and state education conferences.

For more information, view Violet Harlo’s information packet.