The MCC Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad (GPA) project – Cambodia’s Cultural Heritage in the Modern World has enabled educators to deepen and expand connections between Cambodian arts and cultural traditions with the humanities fine arts, social science, and business curricula at Middlesex Community College, the Lowell Public Schools, and our surrounding communities.
The main purpose of this project drew upon Cambodia’s rich artistic heritage as a primary means to understand Cambodian culture and traditions which, when infused into curriculum, support efforts to foster resiliency and a strong self-concept among Cambodian youth/young adults in the Lowell area. Furthermore, the project also fostered an appreciation of Cambodian classical and folk art forms among the general Lowell community and support strategies for sustaining these traditions in the local region.
The specific objectives to accomplish the goals of the project are:
1.) Increase by 12 the number of MCC and LPS faculty who can integrate content related to the arts and culture of Cambodia into their classes through research, travel/study, and curriculum development;
2.) Infuse a minimum of 25 courses at the elementary, secondary, and college levels with content reflecting the arts, culture and historic context of these Cambodia traditional art forms incorporating current Cambodian scholarship and resources researched in Cambodia and the United States;
3.) Increase faculty knowledge of the comparative connections between Cambodians in Cambodia and Cambodians in America based on access to their cultural heritage;
4.) Increase faculty expertise in designing culturally sensitive educational activities and teaching strategies that contribute to fostering positive self-imagery in students;
5.) Integrate Cambodian traditional and classic art instruction into the recently developed Fine Arts Pathway at Lowell High School, strengthen its articulation to MCC and potential the connection of this pathway to Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) and/or The American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP) courses by engaging 10 faculty from Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) in pathway development; and
6.) Develop strategies for sustaining the artistic and cultural traditions of Cambodia within the contemporary context in Lowell by increasing access to MCC micro-enterprise and entrepreneurial coursework to members of the Cambodian arts community.