Many students who end up studying at Art Center are first introduced to the College through Art Center at Night (ACN)—Art Center’s continuing studies program headquartered at South Campus. And chances are that at some point many of those students also came into contact with Photography and Imaging alumna Dana L. Walker (PHOT 1995). Walker serves as both the director of ACN and the managing director of Public Programs, Art Center’s suite of programs that also includes Art Center for Kids (grades 4–8), Saturday High (grades 9–12) and Summer Institute for Teachers (for K–12 educators).
In addition to her Public Programs duties, Walker is also co-chair of Art Center’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, which the College created in 2011 as part of its Create Change Strategic Plan. She’s also a board member of the 120 Group, an ethnically diverse, alumni-based organization that promotes educational and career opportunities in art and design for underrepresented minority populations.
We sat down recently with Dana to talk about diversity, her work as an artist and what it’s like to be a student in her own program.
Dotted Line: You’re on the College’s diversity council. How do you define diversity?
Dana Walker: I don’t define it. In fact, one of the things we’ve done on the Council is purposely not define it. Because once you define it, it becomes a quantity rather than a quality. Diversity is not just about race, ethnicity or religion. It’s also economics, geography, gender and more. In fact, diversity includes so much that it’s really about all of us. And that’s what makes it challenging. To become a better artist or designer, you need to understand the world that you live in and the people who live in it. Whether it’s learning about another culture or learning how to work with different people, you can’t design for the world if you don’t understand large parts of it.