Blog Archives

Art as a Catalyst to Integrate Art & Science – an example from Wesleyan University

Involving intense interdisciplinary collaboration around a common objective or theme.

Feet to the Fire is a major undertaking on Wesleyan’s campus using art as a catalyst to examine critical environmental issues through multiple lenses, from science to art. This program is dedicated to the proposition that a multidisciplinary examination that includes art will provide a more comprehensive and deeper understanding of these global issues.

Feet to the Fire is a major undertaking on Wesleyan’s campus to examine critical environmental issues through multiple lenses, from science to art.

Learn more about the Feet to the Fire program ›


Meandering Multiplicity: Envisioning a Twenty-First-Century Creative Campus

Steven J. Tepper

In a recent article in the New Yorker magazine pianist Jeremy Denk recounts a summer at music camp at Mount Holyoke College, where he was struggling to learn a particularly difficult segment of Charles Ives’s demanding Piano Trio. His breakthrough came when he and friends drove a few miles off campus to the Connecticut River.

Read the article ›


Integrating Creative Campus Elements Into Existing Campus-Wide Teaching Initiatives

Wesleyan integrates Creative Campus elements into existing campus-wide teaching initiatives and ongoing pedagogical exchange:

Wesleyan integrates Creative Campus elements into existing campus-wide teaching initiatives and ongoing pedagogical exchange.

Example of a co-taught course and co-created curriculum modules:

Example of a co-taught course and co-created curriculum modules.

Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts has developed two models for pedagogical collaboration between artists and non-artists. A course module is defined as two to four class sessions within an existing course in which the host of the course co-creates the module with an artist (or if the host is an artist, he/she co-creates the curriculum with a non-artist). Modules provide a way for campus presenters to move beyond the typical workshop or master class conducted by visiting artists and introduce artists into the classroom in a structured way.

Explore sample teaching module descriptions ›


Key Outcomes: Sustainability

The 2010 evaluation report of the Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program features examples of the outcomes from the Round 1 grants which the authors consider to be the most sustainable in nature.

Browse the list of sustainable outcomes ›

California State University, Long Beach

From the earliest days of the B-Word Project, Cal State tried to build a sustainable model for interdisciplinary projects. All the evaluation activities, all the committee meetings, all the classroom visits, were designed to instill in faculty the idea that Cal State’s Carpenter Center was ‘open for business’ and interested in working with them. Since the directive to accomplish this originated with the Dean of the College of the Arts, and he was promoted to Provost when the Creative Campus award was announced, we surmised this was a realistic endeavor.

Read the full sustainability report from Long Beach ›

Dartmouth Hopkins Center

Discussion at Hopkins Center of how seeds sown in the arts produce multiple blossoms:

Discussion at Hopkins Center of how seeds sown in the arts produce multiple blossoms.

The Hopkins Center (the Hop) now has several sets of internal and external resources they did not have before Class Divide:

  • An employee Task Force that is deeply versed in matters of community access, and whose work will continue to benefit the Hop’s institutional accessibility. The Hop Employee Task Force’s approach to assessing the economic accessibility of the Hop is being made public to peer organizations needing help.
  • The Community Advisory board, who understand the Hop’s goals and programs and who will continue to function as advocate for them.

Read the Dartmouth College sustainability report ›

Montclair State University

Plans for continuing to take an interdisciplinary approach to pedagogy – the Creative Thinking course was intended to become an ongoing part of Montclair State’s curriculum. The long-term goal is for the course to grow into a foundational experience for all incoming students at Montclair State. The course responds to goals articulated in Montclair State’s strategic plan that include the integration of deep learning initiatives and creativity into the curriculum and increased integration of the arts into campus life.

Read the Montclair State University sustainability report ›

Read the discussion of sustainable elements in the 2012 Creative Thinking CCI Final Report ›

Wesleyan Center for the Arts: Common Moment

First Year Matters (FYM) is an annual program for incoming first-year students that explores the challenges we face as a result of global climate change and its impact on cultures and ecosystems around the world. The CFA connects to this program through the Common Moment, which is a capstone experience at the end of FYM. The purpose of the Common Moment is to create a participatory community experience through music and movement that physically connects the students to the FYM readings. Each unique performance is interactive and allows students to connect the materials learned throughout the week with the arts. At the conclusion of the Common Moment, the students assemble in a histogram representing the results of a survey question about the F2F theme answered earlier in the week.

Wesleyan Common Moment

Common Moment for incoming freshman is now an annual festival that continues with a new theme each year:

Common Moment for incoming freshman is now an annual festival that continues with a new theme each year.

Learn more about Common Moment ›

The parts of Feet to the Fire that will continue beyond the funded project include the relationships between the CFA and the various campus partners to continue to create innovative collaborations.

Read the Wesleyan sustainability report


Lessons Learned: California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)

Organizers of the project report – The name, The B-Word Project, worked. It begged the follow-up question, “What is that?” and later, became easy shorthand for those events. Students on campus have been overheard saying, “That’s a B-Word thing.” The name sounded edgy and seemed to resonate with CSULB students.

As a mechanism to make the campus aware of the Carpenter Center, the B-Word Project’s colorful, provocative banners placed throughout campus worked. On such a large campus, to be able to mention the B-Word Project anywhere and have everyone nod their heads in recognition is an almost un-heard-of feat. Of course, every sword has two edges. Some of our Steering Committee faculty members heard complaints from their department colleagues about “your” banners being inappropriate or too provocative. This was one of the first signs that we were doing something right with our censorship initiative!

Find out what worked and didn’t work in the B-Word Project at California State University, Long Beach ›


Lessons Learned: Montclair State University

The primary partnership with the Research Academy for University Learning (RAUL) was extremely important in terms of curricular and pedagogical expertise and for shepherding development of the structure of the course during the development process.

  • Having a high-level partner in a Vice Provost and Director of RAUL helped gain the attention and support of upper-level administration, increasing the prestige of the project and raising awareness across campus.
  •  High-level administrative support is essential, especially when a project involves navigating curricular procedures and allocating faculty teaching time. Support by the Provost’s Office in particular not only helped to expedite the administrative steps but also reinforced the validity of the project to the campus community

Explore the complete list of lessons learned at Montclair State University ›


Lessons Learned: Wesleyan University

Summary report on Creative Campus website highlighting project administration, pedagogical models and artist integration into teaching.

Summary report on Creative Campus website highlighting project administration, pedagogical models and artist integration into teaching.

Wesleyan Creative Campus Initiative overview:
Wesleyan Creative Campus Initiative Overview

Read the lessons learned at Wesleyan ›


The Changing Role of Artists

The 14 Creative Campus grantees used artists to explore and engage a wide variety of topics, themes and constituencies. Artists co-designed and co-taught courses with faculty members from other disciplines. They set new work on student ensembles. They collaborated with faculty artists. They received feedback on work-in-progress from students. During sustained residencies of up to several years in length, they visited campuses repeatedly, often staying for a week or longer, researching, teaching, creating, performing and interacting with all sorts of constituents.

Read more about the changing role of artists in the Creative Campus White Paper ›


Artistic Collaboration at Wesleyan

Rinde Eckert, a celebrated playwright, was in residency at Wesleyan as part of the Creative Campus Initiative in conjunction with the Theater Department. Eckert researched with Wesleyan faculty members Kari Weil and John Kirn as he developed a new play that was performed by Wesleyan students in 2012.

Rinde Eckert, Chief of Neuroscience, John Kim, and Kari Weil, Director of the College of Letters, describe how working together created bridges between art and science:

Rinde Eckert, Chief of Neuroscience, John Kim, and Kari Weil, Director of the College of Letter, describe how working together created bridges between art and science.

Explore the list of Wesleyan partners and collaborators ›


Resource Materials: Dartmouth

Dartmouth resource materials include project overview, planning documents, communications/dissemination strategies, documentation of commissioned works, student projects, video reports and evaluation materials.

Large-scale community art projects are among the ongoing outcomes at Dartmouth:
HOP Community Art Projects

Explore the list of Dartmouth resource materials ›