Doctoral candidate Pilato honored for community art projects

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Natalia Pilato, a Penn State doctoral candidate in art education, is a 2013-14 recipient of the Joy of Giving Something Inc. Award. Pilato is one of 10 publicly engaged students of photography, media and visual arts from colleges and universities across the United States chosen to receive a $2,000 tuition award from Imagining America. 

“I am very honored that Tina Thompson considered me to be a prime candidate for the Imagining America award and encouraged me to apply,” said Pilato. “The Joy of Giving Something 2013 tuition award came from Dr. Thompson's unwavering commitment to the students she advises and my engagement with connecting universities and communities through collaborative art projects.”

Pilato demonstrated leadership in facilitating community-based photo or media arts experiences with people unlikely to otherwise have access to art-making. As the executive director of the Community Arts Collective in State College, Pa., Pilato facilitated and completed two major community-based murals: “The Color of Music” and “Dreams Take Flight.” Pilato was previously the director of arts and education at the Campbell Street Community Center in Williamsport, Pa., where she designed and implemented projects including the Children’s Community Garden, the “Seed to Mouth” program, the “CLICK” photo project and the “Children Are the Seeds of the Future” mural in 2009.

Pilato worked with hundreds of community members to develop the mural themes and imagery as well as supervising hundreds more in the painting process. Pilato believes that “teaching is an endless circle of giving and receiving, a constant exchange of ideas that stem from one ongoing conversation. This conversation takes academia out of the classroom and brings it into the community, onto the street corners, front steps, porches and into homes where the dialogue continues and grows.”

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Last Updated September 17, 2013