Ethics in the Arts

The mission of the Ethics in the Arts program is to explore ethical issues in the arts, through art making and art viewing. This program encourages ethical dialogue and reflection around ethical questions that arise organically when interacting with art. Through hearing from visiting artists and exploring art through dynamic activities, participants engage in meaningful exploration of fundamental concepts that enrich their understanding of themselves, the world, and their relationships with others. 

The Ethics and the Arts program supports participants as they broaden their awarness of ethical issues and use their unique voice to explore ideas through art and dialogue. Some questions that often arise are:

  • Identity: What role does a person’s identity have in their art and our viewing of their art?
  • Risk-Taking: What does taking risks look like for artists, and when does this cross an ethical line?
  • Power: What is the power of art? How should artists use this power? What kind of power do consumers and viewers of artwork have? What role do museums and society have in legitmatizing art?
  • Responsibility: What obligation, if any, do artists have to others, like their subjects, viewers, and the general public? How should we engage with an artwork? Can there be plagiarism within art?
  • Intention vs. Impact: How should we navigate tensions between the impact of the art and intention of the artist?
  • Ownership: Who should own art? How should art be treated?
  • Concepts: How can art explore ethical themes such as justice, empathy, and freedom?
  • Experience: What types of experiences should art capture? Are there any topics or experiences that should not be represented through art?
  • Function & Purpose: What is the value of art? What is art? How should we judge or evaluate art?
About our Summer Program

The Ethical Leadership in the Arts Summer Program invites young women to engage with various art forms through the lenses of ethics and leadership, with the guidance of expert artists and ethicists. This two-week program will partner with women artists who will share their experiences of navigating ethical issues within the art world, finding their unique voice, and developing their craft. The visiting artists will also introduce participants to their art form and guide participants through creating their own original art using that particular art medium.

Program participants will explore their own identity and values through in-depth discussions around questions that naturally arise when engaging with art and the artistic process. There will also be a field trip to New York City, where participants will visit art galleries and discuss ethical and leadership issues inspired by art. At the end of the program, participants will select one artwork to prepare for a presentation that captures themselves as ethical leaders or explores the ethical and unethical dimensions of leadership.

This program will allow students to:

As part of the ethics and the arts program, participants can expect to:
  • Explore the intersections between art and ethics
  • Examine their personal identity and values
  • Develop a robust understanding of ethical leadership and what it means to be a woman in the arts
  • Experience different art media, with guidance from expert artists
  • Engage in various artistic expressions that encourage positive risk taking
  • Feel empowered as ethical leaders and artists
  • Develop critical and creative thinking
  • Enhance collaboration and communication skills

Important Update

We are actively monitoring Covid-19 events and planning for contingency plans for our summer programs, including virtual camps. If changes are made, all registered participants will be offered the option of a full refund.

Participation Details

July 13-24, 2020

9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Center for Innovation, Kent Place School

The program is open to rising 9th through 12th-grade girls, both KPS, and non-KPS students. This is an all-girls program.

$2195 includes all art materials for the program, lunch, and field trip. Scholarships are available.

Participants who enroll are asked to commit to the full program

2020 Facilitators

List of 2 items.

  • Dr. Karen Rezach

    Karen Rezach joined the Kent Place community in 2000, and is the Director of the Middle School and the Director of The Ethics Institute. She has a master’s in divinity from Yale University, an EdD from Seton Hall University and is an ordained Episcopal priest. Her doctoral research, “Spiritual Leadership as a Model of Effective Leadership in Independent School,” explores the ways in which educators can bring values and moral awareness in non-religious ways into a variety of school settings. Dr. Rezach has over 20 years of experience as an independent school administrator, including director of the middle school at Kent Place and assistant head of school at St. Philip’s Academy in Newark, NJ. She has been teaching and facilitating workshops on ethics for more than a decade.
  • Ms. Ariel Sykes

42 Norwood Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901   |   (908) 273-0900
The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School is a first-of-its-kind institute at the primary and secondary school level. We believe that promoting the process and practice of ethical thinking and decision-making prepares people of all ages to be effective leaders and compassionate citizens.