Who is American Today? Is an ongoing research project that aims to investigate what and who students consider "American" to be, and how digital media skills play a role in their civic identity.




Leveraging the technological abilities of today's students who have been raised with digital technology and tools, this participatory arts-based project asks high school students from the United States to use digital storytelling to express their lived experiences in America today.

Seeking to investigate the relationship between creativity and democracy, in this pilot study, with the goal of promoting skills necessary in a democratic society, especially focusing on the complimentary ability to autonomously articulate one’s own perspectives as well as to respond to that of others’. In a community of learners, high school students, an art educator, and a researcher explore the central question of “How can art education prepare students to be critical digital citizens?”

This project uses widely-available creative digital tools to articulate student voice in ways that may surpass polarizing issues and create shared understandings about citizenship, and the pursuit of a common good.



Provo Pilot Cohort Class



Our Questions

  • How do current High School students view American identity?

  • What does Critical Digital Citizenship look like, and how does it play a role in their lives?

  • How can art education prepare students to be critical digital citizens?




Through the participation of educators across the United States and their students' work, our team gathers data from Digital Stories that are produced as a result of this project.

Our aim is to use information and critical insight gained from these narratives in order to further understand what students today are thinking, and how they approach critical thinking within digital media. 

The Digital Stories generated by students as a result of this project live online, in our Galleries, and occasionally travel in exhibitions across the country.

Keep up with Who is American Today? through our Events page, or on social media!