Imagining More Diverse and Inclusive Montana Communities

Program Description

“Imagining More Diverse and Inclusive Montana Communities” engages program participants with contemporary images, poetry, text to discuss a sense of belonging, place, and inclusivity in Montana’s diverse communities. Janaína Vieira-Marques’ program offering is prompted by open-ended questions, using the principles of the Visual Thinking Strategy (VTS), an approach to discussion that engages the imagination. The open-ended questions posed by Vieira-Marques during this discussion help participating students collaborate and support critical thinking, visual literacy, and diverse perspectives in the classroom. This program explores ideas of race, identity, power and equity by showing artworks, poetry, and images used in advertising, produced by makers of various backgrounds. “Imagining More Diverse and Inclusive Montana Communities” seeks to provide an open window to the diversity of Montana communities, where open and respectful communication rooted in cooperation, respect, and tolerance for the views of others can be practiced locally.

Presenter Bio

Janaína Vieira-Marques has called Missoula home for the past 15 years, after immigrating to the United States from Brazil. She is an artist and an educator, and her work has been grounded in collaboration, self-expression, and lifting unheard voices in her community. Janaína’s is inextricably grounded in her experiences as an immigrant woman adjusting to the cultural norms of Montana. In Brazil, art and expression in the public arena is more prevalent and accepted than in the intermountain west.Her work has centered on art encounters in combination with art education programs designed to inspire passion and release authentic voices of youth; she is passionate about developing projects intended to beautify the diverse communities of Montana.


Janaína Vieira-Marques