Tyler Denmead

Assistant Professor of Art Education

Tyler Denmead has spent his career facilitating and researching highly collaborative community-based arts programs for youth. His current research investigates youth's creative cultural activities and how those activites are enmeshed in the political economy of so-called creative cities. His methodological interests include ethnography and arts-based educational research.

He is the founding director of the nationally acclaimed New Urban Arts, a youth arts collective for high school students and artists based in Providence, Rhode Island. For his work at New Urban Arts, he received numerous distinctions including an Echoing Green Fellowship while raising over $2.5 million from 1997 to 2007 to support free out-of-school arts programs for Providence public high school students. First Lady Michelle Obama recognized New Urban Arts in 2008 as one of the premiere arts and humanities programs for youth in the country. The New Urban Arts model of “arts mentoring” has influenced youth arts and humanities programs in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, among other cities.

At the University of Illinois, the Campus Research Board (CRB) has funded a research project on youth inequality in creative cities. The CRB designated his research with an Arnold O. Beckman Research Award for “projects of special distinction or promise.” He was granted Humanities Released Time to work on his manuscript in spring 2016. The Illinois Program for Research in Humanities (IPRH) also awarded him a grant for 2015-16 to develop an interdisciplinary research group comprised of faculty and graduate students to investigate the creative cities policy discourse and its implications for curricular innovation at the University of Illinois. More information on this IPRH research cluster can be found here.

His publications can be read in Visual Arts Research, Visual Inquiry, Art Education, Journal of Arts and Communities, International Journal of Education through Art, Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, and the International Journal of Education and the Arts. He has a chapter titled "For the lust of not knowing: Lessons from artists for educational ethnography" in a forthcoming compilation edited by Liora Bresler, titled "Lessons from the Arts for Resaerch" (Springer). He currently serves as co-editor of Visual Arts Research, one of the leading art education journals.

Prior to his post at the University of Illinois, he was a post-doctoral research associate at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities. In 2007, he received an MPhil in Education Studies (distinction-level) in 2008 and his doctorate in 2011 from the University of Cambridge.

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