GradImpact: Using Art to Change People’s Perceptions and Increase Awareness for Sustainability

    After a 15-year career as a professional dancer, Joseph Blake needed to expand his horizon. He began teaching dance to students aged five through 65+ and found their passion inspiring. Blake decided to pursue his MFA in dance from the University of Washington with the intent of teaching at the collegiate level, but he’s using his passion and dedication to dance outside the UW campus.


    Since starting the MFA program in 2015, Blake has focused on dance as a tool to communicate the importance of critical thinking and climate change, using yoga to help heal local incarcerated youth, and to reach people living with Parkinson’s. Blake underscores the importance of dance as a community activity and one that promotes inclusivity for all, not exclusively able-bodied professional dancers.


    Blake is taking his commitment to have an impact on the world one step further with his project Ballo Conservatio alongside friend and colleague Steve Korn. Their partnership as choreographer (Blake) and photographer (Korn) seeks to capture “powerful visual moments of human interaction with renewable and finite resources.” The hope is to use art to raise awareness for the importance of sustainability. “There’s always a story to be told, and it’s so easily done with the body and with the voice,” he says. To read more about Joseph’s work, visit the University of Washington website.


    **Photo Credit: Mitch Allen


    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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