Social Work 650 -- Curriculum / Collection at UMMA

Introduction to Community Organization, Management, and Policy/Evaluation Practice

School of Social Work

Faculty member: Larry M. Gant (School of Social Work; Stamps School of Art and Design)

Carlos Lopez, Downtown Detroit, 1947, gouache on paper. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of the J.L. Hudson Company, 1956/1.90

This group of works exclusively by Detroit and Southeast Michigan artists is part of an experiment in social work methodology. As Professor Larry M. Gant sees it, conventional community assessments too often neglect the arts, focusing instead on purely socioeconomic factors when analyzing neighborhoods. Students in this course will research the artists and works of art in this display with the goal of evaluating how and why some artist associations, public arts projects, and community arts programs have been assets in specific communities at specific moments in the region’s history.


The role of art in community organizing is limited only by conventional thinking.

Larry Gant, Professor of Social Work

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For the Latest UMMA Exhibition: An Experiment in Social Work Methodology

In Social Work 560, Dr. Larry Gant teaches prospective social workers about methods for macro-level practice. And bringing art into the picture, as a tool of historical analysis and also community development and activism, can only help students. “I find abstract and performance art more easily engages a new generation of young social workers in appreciating wonderfully complex issues about working with people and communities," Gant says.

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Works included in this collection

Exhibition Support

Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Erica Gervais Pappendick and Ted Pappendick, the Eleanor Noyes Crumpacker Endowment Fund, and P.J. and Julie Solit.

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