Help us Amplify Free Minds

At 7 pm on March 4, Free Minds students will be gearing up for Monday evening class as usual. But before we open our books, we will celebrate the start of Amplify Austin, a city-wide day of online giving. Hosted by I Live Here, I Give Here, Amplify Austin includes over 300 participating non-profit organizations, … Continue reading

Blanton Museum Tour Explores American Story in Art

Standing before Luis Jimenez’ massive fiberglass sculpture “Border Crossing” at the Blanton Museum on January 17, Free Minds students contemplated the artwork depicting a man carrying a woman and child across the river into the U.S. “I was struck by the color and history in the piece,” said student Cynthia Mays, “and the man’s strength.” … Continue reading

Advisory Committee Member Polly Levers on Why She Believes in Free Minds

“I used to live in the world!… Now my universe is only six blocks …” I still get goose bumps when I watch this part of the Free Minds informational video. It’s the moment when Daniel Zamarripa, a student from the class of 2008, recites these words from Ntozake Shange’s famous play, “For Colored Girls … Continue reading

An Evening with Camp Fire Kids

Adaptation was the topic of conversation at a recent session of Camp Fire USA. With their parents and grandparents in class down the hall, Camp Fire kids marveled at colorful pictures of birds, guessing what kind of food each one could eat according to their beaks. The picture of a woodpecker sparked animated discussion. As … Continue reading

Students See Possibilities in Shakespeare

In Professor Patty Hatcher’s humanities unit this fall, students explored Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice over six class sessions. They analyzed the written play, watched a film version of it, and saw it performed by The Actors from the London Stage on the UT campus. They also got up on their feet to experience the … Continue reading

Gatsby: Beyond the Lavish Parties

The theme of this fall’s Free Minds curricula asks students to consider the rights and responsibilities of citizens–a task that makes obvious sense when studying the U.S. Constitution or considering the history of voting, as students will do in the upcoming politics unit. But what does The Great Gatsby, a novel so often associated with … Continue reading

From Harper’s Magazine to the Class of 2013: Remembering Earl Shorris

On May 26, 2012, Earl Shorris, founder of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, the program that inspired the Free Minds Project, died at age 75. Shorris first wrote about his “experimental” course for Harper’s Magazine in 1997. Originally offered on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Clemente Course model has traveled from New … Continue reading

Upcoming Opportunities at Free Minds

How do you enjoy an Austin summer? We suggest that you come in out of the soon to be *scorching* heat, and check out some of the great summer programming we’ve got lined up. Take a break from standing in front of your open freezer to sit and write with us in the coolness of … Continue reading

Read Stacey Kennedy’s powerful poem from Free Minds Graduation

I Rebuke Thee I often wonder if Fear will ever get to be so  far away from me that I can live actually live to be the person that god created me to be.  Fear it’s been with me for years.  Fear I can hardly hold back my tears.  Fear it has been my comrade,  my … Continue reading

Spring alumni events

Here’s a sneak preview of what we’ve got going for alumni this semester. All events are free and, unless otherwise noted, will take place at the Community Engagement Center (1009 E. 11th St. #216). A more detailed calendar should be available soon. We look forward to seeing you there! TUES, JANUARY 31 American Indians and … Continue reading