Silent Role Models No More - adDRESSING Women's Lives

March 1, 2010

Source: The Covenant Foundation


"adDRESSING Women's Lives", an innovative educational initiative at The Weber School in Atlanta, pairs students with senior women in an oral history project with an artful and cross-generational twist. After interviewing the women about their lives, students design dresses that reflect these women's silent, but very real impact on their families and communities. Spearheaded by Covenant Award recipient and educator Barbara Rosenblit, along with Sheila Miller, the school's arts educator, the program has attracted national attention for its educational value, uniqueness and effectiveness.


In 2002 humanities and Bible teacher Barbara Rosenblit and conceptual artist Sheila Miller, both members of the faculty at the Weber School in Atlanta, conceived of an innovative interdisciplinary project for high school juniors and seniors taking a seminar on the history of Jewish women in America.


Every year since then, each student in the class has interviewed a Jewish woman 75 or older, sometimes a family member, sometimes a total stranger. Rosenblit uses "A Guide to Conducting Life History Interviews with American Jewish Women",developed by the Jewish Women’s Archive, to help the students become oral historians.


Each student then works with Miller over a two month period to create a mixed-media work—this year in the shape of a dress form—that reveals something important that they have learned about each woman’s character and life experiences.


This year’s project, titled "adDRESSING Women's Lives",  was displayed in a public exhibition at the Marcus Jewish Community Center. Each work is paired with a short biography of the woman and an artist’s statement.

Updated: Mar. 23, 2010