Philly high schoolers and college students team up for a ZIP code art project

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Chatter in the small classroom at University of the Arts turned into a crescendo of laughter.

Pausing for a quick announcement, University Arts lecturers instructed a group of 30 high school and college schools to think about their ZIP code story.

The term refers to the intersection of class and other identities, and how a person’s story is defined not only by race or citizenship status, but also class dynamics.

College students from the University of the Arts worked with Revolution High School students to create collages reflecting on their zip codes and exploring class, race and equity on Oct. 10, 2023. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

One by one, students lined up and picked up their supplies, including glue sticks, scissors, and paper in the back of the room. They made their picks from a stack of magazines and started work on a collaborative collage project inspired by CJ Gross’s book, “What’s Your Zip Code Story?

“It’s interesting to hear people’s story and not put them in a box with what they may know or not know,” Gross said, as he walked from table to table.

CJ Gross, author of ”What’s Your Zip Code Story?”, admires a collage created by college students from the University of Arts and high school students from the Revolution School who collaborated to create art reflecting on race, class and equity on Oct. 10, 2023. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

  • October 15, 2023
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