In this paper the author argues that education researchers, artists, educators and arts agencies need to reexamine their policies and practices and grapple with the difficult knowledge of their embeddedness in the problems they seek to resolve. The author identifies the narrative research methods and post positivist analyses he employs in constructing a polyvocal history of an arts education agency. Drawing on fifty-five years of agency meeting minutes, promotional catalogs and news clippings as cross-read within/against the oral testimonies of participants in a community school of visual art, the author critically reflects on the ways community-based arts institutions navigate the dynamics of social change regarding issues of race. He concludes that only as art education and social/historic researchers come to confront their roles in the construction and operations of problems they seek to resolve will they begin to conscionably work toward the ends of social justice in their programs of art study.
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