Friendtorship brings together Portland State University art and design students and high school students from Centennial Park School to collaborate on creative projects, build strong relationships, and have fun.

Friendtorship

Check out a video about our student stories and projects behind our Friendtorship program!

Our Goals

Friendtorship is built on a foundation of creative collaboration and strong personal friendships. The program aims to increase access to design and arts learning for underserved high school students, empowering them to engage in experiential creative processes that better their communities. The personal relationships that develop between the university and high school students are fundamental to the active engagement that drives the program.

Creative collaboration and positive relationships are the pillars of our program.

Learn With Us

We're building an active program based on sharing and collaboration. We learn every day from each other and artists and designers in our community. We'd love it if you wanted to learn from our projects, activities and lessons. Use them in your classrooms, build on them with your students, share them with your friends, and let us know how it goes. Have fun!

Our Friends

Check out a video by Portland State graphic design students and friendtors, Ryan J. Bush and Allison Berg. This video captures the heart of our program, the importance of friends.

Friendtorship

Check out a video about our student stories and projects behind our Friendtorship program!

Our Goals

Friendtorship is built on a foundation of creative collaboration and strong personal friendships. The program aims to increase access to design and arts learning for underserved high school students, empowering them to engage in experiential creative processes that better their communities. The personal relationships that develop between the university and high school students are fundamental to the active engagement that drives the program.

Creative collaboration and positive relationships are the pillars of our program.

Learn With Us

We're building an active program based on sharing and collaboration. We learn every day from each other and artists and designers in our community. We'd love it if you wanted to learn from our projects, activities and lessons. Use them in your classrooms, build on them with your students, share them with your friends, and let us know how it goes. Have fun!

What Is Art? What Is Design?

What do we mean when we say “art”? What do we mean when we say “community”? What do we mean when we say “social change”? What do we mean when we say “design”? What is the difference between art and design? This workshop will get us brainstorming together and using the power of collaboration to collectively define words, phrases and ideas critical to our program. We will harness the power of visual thinking to better understand big, sticky concepts.

Don't Walk Bareheaded In The Sun
(Culture Scripts)

Words, wisdom and criticism, can really stick. By using the format of a culture script, we will raise our awareness of the voices that influence the way we interact with, understand and interpret the world around us. We'll use stream of consciousness writing to write down the sayings that swim around our minds, often popping up at unexpected moments to direct how we walk through life.

Put It On Paper

Put it On Paper is a workshop inspired by the people at Ambrose, an after-school art club in Holland, Michigan. Ambrose features weekly hands-on projects led by creative guests to help students develop critical thinking, entrepreneurship and creative problem solving skills.

Someday I Will…

“Someday I Will…” is a project inspired by the artist Candy Chang. Chang creates interactive projects combining street art with social activism and urban planning. She works to open up civic engagement in public space and provides people with easy and innovative ways to make their voice heard.

Using Chang's project, “Before I Die…” as inspiration, students create content and an installation by completing the phrase, "Someday I Will…" The result reflects the combined aspirations of the faculty, high school students and college students.

Something I Learned When I Was Thirteen

This project is about evening the playing field. In an effort to bring high school and college students together as collaborators, we use a point of similarity upon which to build: the universally awkward adolescent experience.

We used this shared experience as a starting point to collaborate and create a series of visual responses in the form of short stop-motion animation videos. We worked to understand the structure of our narratives and learned how to create stop motion animation.

The Self-Motivational Picket Sign

Students create a picket sign featuring a unique self-motivational motto, devised to incite determination for the things they desire to accomplish. Active messages are developed during the workshop; using personal insight, provoking questions and design considerations. The picket sign are small in scale, built with a wooden stick and centered canvas.

What Is Art? What Is Design?

What do we mean when we say “art”? What do we mean when we say “community”? What do we mean when we say “social change”? What do we mean when we say “design”? What is the difference between art and design? This workshop will get us brainstorming together and using the power of collaboration to collectively define words, phrases and ideas critical to our program. We will harness the power of visual thinking to better understand big, sticky concepts.

Don't Walk Bareheaded In The Sun (Culture Scripts)

Words, wisdom and criticism, can really stick. By using the format of a culture script, we will raise our awareness of the voices that influence the way we interact with, understand and interpret the world around us. We'll use stream of consciousness writing to write down the sayings that swim around our minds, often popping up at unexpected moments to direct how we walk through life.

Put It On Paper

Put it On Paper is a workshop inspired by the people at Ambrose, an after-school art club in Holland, Michigan. Ambrose features weekly hands-on projects led by creative guests to help students develop critical thinking, entrepreneurship and creative problem solving skills.

Lis Charman

Lis Charman loves the smell of art school. She loves walking past the open doors of active, vibrant classrooms filled with students. She loves working with people working together making things and sharing ideas… fortunately, Lis has fulfilled her lifelong dream of never leaving art school.

Lis is a professor at Portland State University where she teaches in Graphic Design program. Her work has received recognition from the Art Directors Club, the AIGA, HOW and Metropolis magazines. Lis is a recipient of Sappi’s Ideas That Matter grant. She earned an MFA in Graphic Design from CalArts.

You can read more about her HERE

And email her at charman@pdx.edu

Conrad Schumacher

Conrad Schumacher is a knowledge wrangler and a grub rustler.

Conrad Schumacher is an academy art, language arts and culinary arts teacher at Centennial Park School. He is also an adjunct professor at Portland State University. Previously, Conrad was a founding teacher and art and language arts teacher at Riverdale High School. He holds a degrees from Lewis and Clark and Horst Mager Culinary Institute (now Cordon Bleu).

His wife, two sons, one daughter and home life is what gives Conrad the stability to be a teacher.

You can email him at cschumac@pdx.edu

Who are these “friendtors” anyways?

The term “Friendtors” refers to both PSU and CPS students who are actively involved in the program. Most of the PSU students are graphic design majors, working to make positive social change using creativity and design thinking. Some, but not all of the CPS students are interested in art as a focus for their high school studies.

Why don't we call it “mentorship”?

Early on, we brainstormed together on what we should call this program. It was growing legs, and it needed a name. Before we could name it, we had to define what we were doing. PSU students and CPS students agreed: the friendships we were forming in these sessions were the most important feature of our weekly meetings. And so, we just did a little bit of word invention. Mentorship + Friendship = Friendtorship. It's simple, really.

What is the purpose of Friendtorship?

We could talk forever about the importance of creativity in education, or the ubiquity of art and design in our lives (really, just ask us) but really, our main focus is on collaboration and relationships. Through action-based art and design projects, we build and strengthen relationships between college students and high school students that might be considered “at risk” or “underserved.” Our program is people-based.

What do art and education have to do with mentorship or friendship?

A cool thing is that our program serves as a laboratory for university students and faculty interested in art and design leadership, mentorship, teaching and education. Our curriculum is experimental, collaborative and based very much within our context. The learning relationship in our classroom is reciprocal.

What does a typical Friendtorship session look like?

Friendtorship sessions always begin with interaction and conversation: How is the day going? What music are you listening to? Did you beat that level of Zelda yet? We often eat snacks. There's a lot of laughing and a lot of sharing.

How can I get involved?

We'd love you to come work with us. We welcome professional artists, designers and educators to visit our sessions. Depending on schedule and level of interest, most professionals will come in and lead one or more two-hour sessions, while others will come in for an hour to give a talk. Maybe you want to come in every week to direct or help with a long term project: great! Get in touch with us, we're happy to work with you to develop an ideal situation. You are welcome to stop by and check out one of our sessions before committing to volunteer; we love visitors!

What if I'm a Portland State student, can I get involved? Can I receive school credit?

Yes and yes! Here are the ways you can become involved as a student.

Become a Friendtor. You attend weekly Wednesday sessions for two hours, as well as regular planning meetings with Lis Charman and other PSU students. Work collaboratively to develop curriculum and programming.

Meet one-on-one with a CPS student. Assist him or her in developing a college application, or review a CPS student's college application.

Help us tell our story. Design print and/or web-based promotional materials for Friendtorship. Lend your video or audio skills to our effort to chronicle our collaborative, creative journey together.

Students are able to receive credit hours for their participation in Friendtorship. Please contact Lis Charman to arrange those details.

Where is Friendtorship located?

We meet in the Art Building on the Portland State University campus.

Can I borrow your ideas for my own program?

Yes, please! We would love for you to use the ideas and activities we've developed and build on them. Let us know how it goes.

I want to know even MORE.

You're in luck, because there is a ton of fun stuff to look through and learn about.

Read about our projects, lessons and activities in the Case Studies section.

Check out our documentation blog, We Are Friendtors (wearefriendtors.tumblr.com). We keep track of collaborative projects here. We also have a process blog, Talking and Making (talkingandmaking.tumblr.com) Here is where PSU and CPS students post what they're thinking about and working on.

We also have a Vimeo account where we share videos we make. Catch a glimpse into our classroom!

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