John and Sarah Green's PBS Digital Series The Art Assignment Makes Art Social, Accessible

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Courtesy of the Greens
Sarah and John Green are scouring the nation looking for contemporary art and those to assign it.

Nerdfighters and anyone else who generally enjoys cool things, get excited. And get ready for your assignment.

John Green, the bestselling author behind The Fault in Our Stars and co-founder of the highly followed YouTube channels Vlogbrothers and CrashCourse, and his wife, Sarah Urist Green, a contemporary art curator, have joined forces with PBS Digital Studios to launch The Art Assignment.

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This weekly web series features artists from around the country who pose an assignment for the viewers, who then complete the assignment themselves. Viewers can then post their responses and executions of these assignments on YouTube, PBS.org, or other social media sites with the hashtag #TheArtAssignment. Some of the episodes... will include responses from viewers, which have proven to be more than the creators or featured artists expected.

"[The artists featured in the previous videos] were all really blown away by not only the volume of responses but the quality of responses and the depth of the discourse on the comments," Sarah says.

While both John and Sarah have been collaborating on the series, Sarah is admittedly the brain behind the operation. After witnessing John and his brother Hank's success with Vlogbrothers, which created an entire following known as Nerdfighteria made up of individual fans, called Nerdfighters, Sarah says she realized the power of the Internet.

"I've been a curator for a number of years now and I love museums, I love working in a museum, but I was frustrated when I would spend years working on a show and our best numbers for attendance were 50,000 people," she says.

The Art Assignment's first episode, posted on February 20, has more than 100,000 views already.

The goal of The Art Assignment is not to just get as many views as possible, though. Sarah says her goal for this project is to use the videos as a platform to expose contemporary art "to an audience that doesn't necessarily consider themselves interested in art."

Both Sarah and John noted that part of the inspiration for The Art Assignment was that they felt that people don't seek out contemporary art as often as they should due to a variety of reasons, including lack of resources.

"One of the things that really appeals to me about Sarah's idea for The Art Assignment is that it could be a place where people could engage with each other and contemporary art but it would be free and open to everyone," John says.



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