The artistic field is a universe of belief. Cultural production distinguishes itself from the production of the most common objects in that it must produce not only the object of its materiality, but also the value of this object, that is, the recognition of artistic legitimacy. This is inseparable from the production of the artist or the writer as artist or writer, in other words, as a creator of value. (Pierre Bourdieu)As the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has observed: artists are made, not born. In this seminar, first-year students will be introduced to the diverse cultural resources within the major metropolitan area of Washington, D.C. that lead to the making of artists. Students will investigate the web of institutions that make up the experience of art, culture, and society; these institutions generate, motivate, activate, foster, and disseminate change - and sometimes stand in its way. Although this course is reading and writing intensive, we will move from the classroom to the locations of culture and the various institutions unique to Washington, D.C. that form the experience of art, the creation of culture, and a vision of society. For example, students may choose to explore the changes and shifts in cultural capital for black and African Americans as seen through the locations of former slave Frederick Douglass' house in Anacostia, the Black Renaissance whose music lit up the Lincoln Theatre on U Street (next door to Ben's Chili Bowl, the iconic restaurant that withstood the 1968 race riots after MLK's assassination), local café and bookstore chain Busboy and Poets named after poet Langston Hughes, the White House that now is home to the first black President of America, and the Corcoran, whose most recent successful art show highlighted 30 African American artists in 2012. As cultural institutions in Washington, D.C., including the Corcoran, continue to re-examine and re-negotiate their purpose and relevance, we will not only ask, "How have these cultural resources and tools transformed and influenced art and the world," but also ask, "How will these cultural resources and tools transform and influence my art and my world?"