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SNF Paideia and the Rothko Chapel collaborate for event on art and human rights

Apr 17, 2024

The definition of “citizen” embraced by the University of Pennsylvania’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Paideia Program, which seeks to educate students as citizens and whole people, is an expansive one, encompassing everything from political participation to artistic expression. Art, along with spirituality and human rights, was the focus of a recent SNF Paideia event hosted in collaboration with the Rothko Chapel, a nonprofit public space in Houston whose mission sits at the intersection of these three axes.

Christopher Rothko, son of 20th-century abstract painter Mark Rothko, whose work adorns the Chapel, joined two Penn instructors for a discussion about this mission and about his father’s work. The event, open to the public, was offered in conjunction with an SNF Paideia-designated course at Penn, Art as Intercultural Dialogue.

The Rothko Chapel is also an SNF partner, and this event arose from a connection SNF made with the SNF Paideia Program. Fostering collaboration and forming bridges of cooperation, particularly between partners, is a key element of SNF’s approach.

A 2024 grant from the Foundation supports the creation of the SNF Forum for Community Engagement, a space for public and community events, at Rothko Chapel's new Program Center. This space is part of a much larger initiative to expand and upgrade the Rothko Chapel’s campus to facilitate public education, social justice, and dialogue programming.

Mirroring SNF Paideia’s approach to educating young citizens, SNF takes an expansive approach to encouraging civic engagement and civil discourse, key pillars of our work, including focusing on public space, public art, and public dialogue.