Melissa MacLeod encourages a relaxed, non-judgmental environment, where students can talk openly about their experiences. Her classes sit in a circle. She draws their attention to how what they discuss relates to them personally, and this seems to inspire them to make connections more readily. MacLeod lets the students do most of the talking, and when she do speak, she speaks mostly in curiosity-questions. Her classes do a lot of writing. MacLeod incorporates discussion of all of the arts—viewing, listening, or making it in the classroom—while questioning the creative process, encouraging students to reflect on themselves as artists and their processes. MacLeod believes the most important thing she does is bring in articles from current newspapers and magazines to demonstrate the relevance of what her class discusses and how pivotal the arts are in wider contexts.
An artist who understands the wider global community also understands their value within it, will be able to defend their worth, and move forward with confidence and increasing influence in and beyond the arts.
Awards, Recognitions and Honors
- Melanie Hook Rice Award in Fiction