Whose Dream Is It? | wisconsinacademy.org
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Whose Dream Is It?

Perspectives on the American Dream
Saturday, November 4, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

DISCUSSION GUIDE: Download questions for Whose Dream Is It?

The American Dream is a shared dream of our own creation. The phrase implies the inclusion of all who live here and embrace the promise of a democracy that represents its diverse citizens and communities. Yet rapid, even erratic, policy changes surrounding immigration and American influence abroad are having an effect on people who share this dream across the United States. At the same time, the Seventh Generation philosophy that guides sovereign Indian nations often collides with dreams that center on short-term economic success.

Artist Terese Agnew hosts a panel discussion with journalist and Academy Fellow Patty Loew and community organizer Jesus Salas exploring what it means to be an American today and how different perspectives on Americanism contribute to—or detract from—our shared identity.  The panel opens with a short performance by Blanche Brown as Caroline Quarlls, the first person known to have escaped slavery through Wisconsin’s Underground Railroad. Quarlls and panelist Jesus Salas are both featured in the Writing in Stone exhibition, on view in the James Watrous Gallery.

Part of the American Dream in Wisconsin series, this event was recorded by WisconsinEye and held in conjunction with Writing in Stone: A collaborative installation by Terese Agnew at the Watrous Gallery and with support from


Terese Agnew began her art career as a public sculptor. Her early work included huge temporary installations that engaged hundreds of people in the art making process. In 1991 Agnew began making art quilts in addition to sculpture.

Jody Clowes is the director of the Academy's James Watrous Gallery and arts editor for Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine.

Patty Loew is a professor in the Medill School of Journalism and Director of the Indigenous Research Center at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Jesus Salas is the descendant of a Mexican-American family who first came to Wisconsin during the 1940s. He worked throughout his early school years as a migrant farmworker. Salas led protests, marches, and organizing efforts to secure rights and improve conditions for himself, his family, and the migrant community during the 1960s and 1970s.

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Phone: 608.733.6633 x25