Award-Winning Curricula

Brenna Johnson honored with The Judy Chicago Art Education Award in 2014.

The Judy Chicago Education Award review committee was impressed with Brenna Johnson’s submission “Judy Chicago Reinvented through Soft Sculpture,” especially in her explicit use of Judy Chicago’s participatory art pedagogy with The Dinner Party Curriculum Project encounters, extending the encounters with the development of resources used in her teaching, and her narrative with examples to support analysis and description. While Johnson’s was among several that fulfilled and exceeded the criteria for the award, hers rose to the top because the curriculum, teaching, and evidence of student learning most embodied feminist goals. The award ceremony was part of the Judy Chicago Symposium held at Penn State on April 5, 2014. Click here for Brenna Johnson’s curriculum.

The award ceremony was part of the Judy Chicago Symposium held at Penn State on April 5, 2014. In photo:Judy Kovler, Brenna Johnson, Judy Chicago, Karen Keifer-Boyd

The award ceremony held on April 5, 2014 was part of the “Judy Chicago Symposium: Planting a Feminist Art Education Archive” held at Penn State. Left to right in photo: Judy Kovler, Brenna Johnson, Judy Chicago, Karen Keifer-Boyd. Photo by Madison Mock

Jennifer Mazziotta-Walters (2013 Minx M. Auerbach award curriculum “Exploring, Allocating, Creating, Sharing, & Discussing Voice” for 8th graders)

In the fall of 2012, the eighth grade class of Harmony Township School took part in The Dinner Party Project.  This was a two-month long interdisciplinary project between the art, technology, and language arts department that related to the big idea of extending voice through art.  The twenty-nine students, along with nine teachers, investigated women’s history, feminism, culture, and art using The Dinner Party as inspiration. Click here for Jennifer Mazziotta-Walters curriculum.

Brandy Noody (2012 Minx M. Auerbach award curriculum): Heros (for High School)

Brandy Noody adapted parts of The Dinner Party Curriculum as a semester-long unit, using the enduring idea, “Art has been used throughout history to immortalize.” The unit, Heroes, included a detailed classroom facsimile of Judy Chicago’s installation, the creation of banners featuring a personal hero, a whole-class quilt project, and visits from local artists who demonstrated needlework techniques. Brandy also kept a visual journal of the semester, and noted her observations, questions, and reflections on the class.

Through in depth use of The Dinner Party Curriculum, Brandy Noody set the following curriculum goals:

  • to promote gender equity
  • to shift from product-making to meaning-making
  • to establish a group atmosphere

Brandy Noody describes: “I began the school year focusing on the big idea of heroes. The enduring idea I sought to instill in my students was, ‘Art has been used throughout history to immortalize.’” Essential questions addressed were:

  • What is a hero?
  • What qualities does a person need to be classified as a hero?
  • In what way do we immortalize our heroes?

Brandy Noody adapted several different Encounters from the curriculum to suit these goals. In particular, she used the following Encounters, in this order: 2, 8, 7 & 10, 3, , 4, 5 & 6, 1, and 13Click here for Brandy Noody’s curriculum.


Deborah Filbin (2011 Minx M. Auerbach award curriculum): Inspiring Women (for High School)

In her Art Fundamentals class, Deborah Filbin adapted six Encounters from The Dinner Party Curriculum, creating a unit plan to engage her students in a deep exploration of The Dinner Party, and its focus on the women written out of history. Deborah incorporated lessons on art criticism, the history of the second wave Women’s Movement in the 1970s, and a look at a variety of feminist art. She included an activity in which students mapped out the size of the installation The Dinner Party in the school gymnasium so they could comprehend the scale of the work. Finally, students created works honoring women who positively impacted their lives. Deborah Filbin adapted Encounters 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 10. Click here for Deborah Filbin’s curriculum. Deborah Filbin prepared three presentations for her curriculum, which are linked below:

Andrea Reish (2010 Minx M. Auerbach award curriculum): Mothers of Mother Earth (for Elementary School, adaptable to Middle and High School)

Andrea Reish created a unit called Mothers of Mother Earth. Within the unit are two lessons, Who Has Made Great Contributions to Our World, and A Feast of Women’s Contributions. She was honored with The Minx Auerbach Award for the lesson A Feast of Women’s Contributions, which she taught to 5th grade students at Muhlenberg Elementary School in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Andrea Reish’s lessons are part of Encounters 2, 7, and 10.