Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-16-2016

Publication Title

Sage Open








This article is about teaching art-based inquiry and equity pedagogy. The author introduces an aesthetic-inspired afterschool curriculum in the urban context in the United States and theorizes the meaning of active citizenship and community. Conceptually framed by “community without community,” this article explicates the ways in which the ARtS children (Aesthetic, Reflexive thoughts, & Sharing) investigated the meanings of community through dance, poetry, and clay art. The author imagines and theorizes community that goes beyond emphasizing solidarity and a collective “we”-ness in the pursuit of social transformation. Rather, the author argues that “community without community” could be an important framework to revisit children’s exploration of community, self-other, and active citizenship. The ARtS initiative opens up the possibility of valuing diverse epistemologies and calls for releasing the imagination for a different community. Most notably, the notion of community without community leaves open the possibility of reconceptualizing existing community and its vision for creating new communities always open to possibilities.


This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.