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Americans Who Tell the Truth

August 23, 2012

Meeting with Rob Shetterly

Last week I had the chance to meet with Connie Carter of Operation Breaking Stereotypes. Since 2002, Operation Breaking Stereotypes (OBS), a non-profit, service-based organization working with schools in Maine, Boston, and New York City to help students address ethnic, socio-economic, gender, and racial stereotypes through writing, reading, music, photography, and personal connections.

We met with Aran and Robert Shetterly to talk about their work Americans Who Tell the Truth. (AWTT) Americans Who Tell the Truth = Models of Courageous Citizenship. AWTT is dedicated to the belief that a profound sense of citizenship is the only safeguard of democracy and the best defense of our social, economic, and environmental rights. Through portraits and stories of exemplary American citizens, both historical and contemporary, AWTT teaches the courage to act for the common good. Its powerful educational programs promote our country’s ideals, illuminate the necessary work of the present, and inspire hope in the future.

You might know Rob Shetterly’s work. A handful of years ago Rob was at Haystack for the fall Maine Art Educators conference. I remember thinking “wow” what a difference this man is making in the world. He is able to select individuals (and paint them) who get to the heart of a topic in the most truthful and honest ways. His work really “speaks” and I think it would be a gift to have these paintings surround us in our living spaces every day.

Rob’s son, Aran, is working with his Dad to bring the work into schools and educational settings in a more formal way. AWTTs new website is filled with information that you may find useful, certainly interesting.

In the near future they will be offering regional professional development opportunities for educators to take a close up look at the paintings, the people in the paintings, and the teachers and perhaps students who have been fortunate to hear from Rob in classrooms across Maine. Aran, Rob, and Connie are in the process of planning these events. I am grateful to know that more students, teachers, and schools will have this opportunity in the near future.

Watch for information on meartsed blog about these professional development opportunities and if you have questions please contact Aran at aran@americanswhotellthetruth.org.

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