Ardmore High School/Limestone County Schools

In front of the Wailing Wall, the only remaining wall of the Temple

Jerusalem: Crossroads of Culture : Project Summary:
An understanding of world religions and the cultures that surround them unlocks meaning behind some of history’s most compelling works of art. As a teacher at a rural, county school, I recognize that the racial, cultural and religious homogeneity of our student body presents a unique challenge. It is my responsibility to bring the world to my students, not only to help them better understand great works of art, but to give them the tools that they need to be productive citizens in our increasingly global society. My Fund for Teachers fellowship has helped equip me to do just that. 

This summer, I journeyed to Jerusalem to learn more about art in the Abrahamic religions. I observed the confluence of Islam, Judaism and Christianity in a city that is holy to all three religions. From Dome of the Rock to the Western Wall to Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the city of Jerusalem was my classroom for intercultural studies. I was able to collaborate with Israeli educators and students at Hebrew University High School and explore the impact of the Holocaust on art at Yad Vashem. 

Three days after returning from Israel, I boarded a plane to Rochester, NY to attend a symposium on the sacred texts of the Abrahamic religions at Nazareth College. Observing dialogue among top religious scholars on heavy topics such as the role of gender in Islam, models of interfaith conflict resolution and the stances of the religions on environmental issues has better prepared me to facilitate classroom discussion on difficult issues while maintaining a climate of respect for the target cultures.

Continuing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy Through Religion & Art

Art in the Abrahamic Religions

Personal art website:   Starr Weems Fine Art 


Last modified: Monday, September 15, 2014, 9:45 AM