Who is American Today? was started through collaboration between a high school educator working a district of significant immigrant population and a higher education researcher who is an immigrant herself.  

We hope to foster a critical investigation asking high school students to use digital storytelling to reflect about their experiences in America, therefore touching upon polarizing issues such as race, immigration, social opportunity and the American dream.  


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Flavia Bastos, Phd.

Flávia Bastos is an accomplished professor, researcher, and scholar of art education, educational philosophies, and progressing creative practices. Her research and scholarship are indebted to her Brazilian roots, experiences with social and cultural diversity, and the educational philosophy of Paulo Freire. Thus her research and teaching are rooted in community, and fueled by progressive education ideas that honor creative potential and celebrate the talents of all people.

Flávia is Professor of Creativity in Education at the University of Cincinnati, DAAP School of Art. Additionally, Flávia is currently chairperson for the Council of Policy Studies in Art Education, and formerly Director of the Higher Education Division of the National Art Education Association.  

She has received the Ziegefeld Award of the International Society for Education through Art as well as the Mary J. House Award of the National Art Education Association Women’s Caucus.

Contact Flávia via email at flavia.bastos@uc.edu.



James Rees, MFA.

James Rees is a passionate advocate for art education that balances theory, research, and practice. James advocates for the arts nationally and locally to empower students and their teachers in and through the arts. With more than 24 years of teaching experience, James currently teaches full-time at Provo High School, but has previously taught at Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, and Westminster College.

In addition to serving as an educator, James currently serves as Pacific Region vice president of the National Art Education Association after serving as the Pacific Region Secondary Representative. He is a Fulbright Memorial Scholar, a Teachers Institute of Contemporary Art Fellow, and an Art21 Fellow. 

His awards include the Sorenson Legacy Foundation Award for Excellence in Arts Education, Utah Art Educator of the Year and National Art Education Secondary Educator of the Year.

Contact James via email at james@jamesreesart.com.


Thank you to the University of Cincinnati for continued support.