CALTA21Partners with the New Jersey Visual Arts Center and the Elizabeth School District

We’re pleased to announce that CALTA21 will be working with our neighbors at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and the Elizabeth Public Schools to help them expand their capacity to serve English Language Learners in the Garden State!

“A gr…

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Just announced! National and International conference presentations by CALTA21 team

Museums, arts and social change enthusiasts, mark your calendars! CALTA21 believes in sharing our passion, knowledge and experience with those also interested in the intersection of art, museums, language, immigration and its value in shaping a more inclusive society.  During our conference presentations, we share our findings and create spaces for dialogue on related topics. We welcome the opportunity to get to know you and learn about your work. If you or any of your colleagues are attending these conferences, please come and introduce yourselves!



AAM Color Logo AAM – St Louis, USA – May 7 – 10, 2017 – Attending: Patricia Lannes, CALTA21 Founder and Director – Co-Organizing – The Big Schmooze Go Grand Center –


Sunday May 7 – 6:30-9:30pm
Genial Conference Logo GENIAL – Generating Engagement and New Initiatives for All Latinos – San Francisco, USA – June 1, 2017 – Plenary Panel: Cecilia Garibay, Garibay Group Principal and Patricia Lannes, CALTA21 Founder and Director – Summit Launch Panel


Summit Launch Panel
Arts in Society – Paris, France – June 14-16, 2017 – Presentation: “Art and Museums Strenghten Communities: Building Immigrants’
Academic, Social and Cultural Capital,” Patricia Lannes, CALTA21 Founder and Director; Professor Kitty Bateman, Queensborough Community College, CUNY; Cecilia Garibay, Garibay Group Principal; Marianna Pegno, Associate Curator of Education, Tucson Museum of Art




Details to be announced


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MoMA's "What if we shared our stories?"

Watch CALTA21’s Patricia Lannes talk about her experience as coming to the United States.

This video was made with the support of MoMA’s Community Partnership program.

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Debunking Immigration Myths

CALTA21 is an initiative built by and for immigrants. Check out this article, from, to inform yourself on real facts and data that debunks perceptions and current myths on immigration and immigrants. Don’t forget to share with colleague…

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Teacher Stories: Visiting 'Along the Silk Road' and Adapting the Curriculum

For the Fall 2015 semester, I implemented CALTA21 in the classroom with my advanced ESL students. We partnered with the Godwin-Ternbach Musem at Queens College to explore their exhibition, Along the Silk Roads, featuring Lynn Gilbert: Photographs of …

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Málaga Hoy - Patricia Lannes featured on art and social inclusion

Two Spanish newspapers, Málaga Hoy and La Opinión de Málaga, reported on the V Seminar of Art and Social Inclusion hosted by the Museo Picasso. At the seminar, Patricia Lannes, Director of CALTA21, was invited to present to an audience of 27 museum p…

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What We Gained from the CALTA21 Institute

“”I learned so much about teaching as well as about myself! Patricia Lannes is a wonderful instructor and a great person and I was really inspired by the way in which she has combined doing what she loves with helping other people!”

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Video: Supporting Adult Language Learners in Immigrant Communities


How can VTS be used to empower adult immigrants who are learning a new language? CALTA21 had the honor of being invited to the VTS Online Summer Series to share approaches used in the design and implementation of our model. Listen to paneli…

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Migration Stories in the English Classroom

Migration Stories in the English Classroom: Using CALTA21 to Study Jacob Lawrence and the Migration Series
While preparing for the QCC Adult Literacy Program’s June Intensive classes, I knew I wanted to bring students to see Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series at MoMA. Currently on exhibition in its entirety, the series has been united for the first time in twenty years. The exhibit, titled One-Way Ticket, centers around all 60 panels of Lawrence’s canonical series and highlights representations of the black experience in America in the mid-twentieth century.
Having worked closely with the CALTA21 curriculum over the past few years, I saw an amazing opportunity to use the curriculum in conjunction with the Lawrence show. Examining portraiture, photography, and identity in order to learn English opens up a space to discuss students’ stories as immigrants. In the process, they are also learning ways and building tools to examine the histories and journeys of others. Thus, an exploration of the Great Migration and its significance in American history fit in wonderfully with the CALTA21 curriculum, once some small adaptations were made.
To prepare for the trip, we dedicated the prior class to exploring the work of Jacob Lawrence in its historical context. During a dynamic and informative guest lecture from Patricia Lannes, our students were introduced to the Lawrence series, as well as an overview of the history of Civil Rights in America, starting with the Declaration of Independence and stopping with the Voting Rights Act of 1964.
Using VTS to explore some of Lawrence’s panels in the classroom allowed students to engage with this history on both a personal and interpretative level, bringing human voices back into a now distant historical moment. Students had also previously received and reviewed museum vocabulary, as a part of the CALTA21 curriculum,  in order to build language to talk about art and engage with the works in a museum. Patricia’s classroom visit was a wonderful way to build the foundation for visiting the museum.
Wednesday turned out to be a beautiful day and the excitement was certainly palpable once we arrived at the museum. We made our way up to the third floor and, after a brief introduction, the class began to select works of art to zero-in on and examine critically, with the help of a worksheet from the CALTA21 curriculum.
While the chaos of MoMA made it difficult for us to discuss the experience as a whole group, I was able to go around and speak with students one on one. I was struck by the deeply thoughtful questions and observations posed by our students. One student noticed a transformation from the first to the last painting; the first panel shows the backs of the figures as they move through a train station and the final panel shows them facing forward in front of the train tracks. She understood this change as symbolic of a hopeful future and looking forward to a better life.
I’m excited to bring these questions and observations into the classroom and I look forward to hearing what our students have to say when I see them again this week!
-Valerie Smosna
Valerie Smosna is a Program Assistant and Instructor at the Queensborough Community College Adult Literacy Program. She worked as a Project Coordinator and Editor on CALTA21. Her background in art history and her focus on the intersection of art, social justice and underrepresented populations, has been instrumental to her work on CALTA21 and with the QCC Adult Literacy Program. She received her M.A. in art history from Bryn Mawr College and her B.A. from Haverford College.


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Professor Ahern and Her Class at the Katonah Museum

Last semester, Joy Ahern, Senior Adjunct Professor at Westchester Community College, implemented the CALTA21 curriculum in her Level 5 class. During the implementation, her students visited the Katonah Museum of Art twice and were given the opportuni…

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