Blog Archives

Cross Team Planning – an example from Montclair State University

Thoughts on the creative thinking course CRTH-151 at Montclair State University that involved faculty from Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy & Religion, Theatre & Dance, Music Education, Sciences/Physics and Marketing:

Thoughts on the creative thinking course CRTH-151 at Montclair State University that involved faculty from Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy & Religion, Theatre & Dance, Music Education, Sciences/Physics and Marketing.

Read about the key outcomes of the Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program ›


Students Learn Skills to Help Them Shape the Future

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth’s Remarks to Class of 2015 Families on Arrival Day 2011 – Students learn skills to help them shape the future:

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth’s Remarks to Class of 2015 Families on Arrival Day 2011 – Students learn skills to help them shape the future

Students develop a range of capacities to create new opportunities and products:

Students develop a range of capacities to create new opportunities and products

Excerpts of Wesleyan President Michael Roth’s Speech to Wesleyan family members on Arrival Day 2012 – What Wesleyan offers is a pragmatic liberal arts education:

Excerpts of Wesleyan President Michael Roth’s Speech to Wesleyan family members on Arrival Day 2012 – What Wesleyan offers is a pragmatic liberal arts education

We want to educate the whole person:

We want to educate the whole person


Crossing Disciplines – an example from Wesleyan University

At Wesleyan University, creativity is an interdisciplinary pursuit. The goal of the Creative Campus Initiative is to elevate the arts as a means of teaching, learning, and knowing. This goal is being pursued through four program strategies.

Read the article ›


What is Interdisciplinarity, and Why is the Artistic Lens so Important?

Placing the Arts at the Heart of the Creative Campus, a paper by Alan S. Brown and Steven J. Tepper, Ph.D, takes stock of the Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program, a six-year, $3.5 million grant initiative administered by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the national service organization for performing arts presenters, with funding support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The overall goal of the program was to support exemplary campus-based performing arts presenters in developing programs and strategies beyond conventional practice that integrate their work across the academy, with the ultimate goal of elevating the role of the arts in academic life.

Within the academy, there is a growing awareness of the need to rethink our approach to knowledge and creativity. Many believe that academic and intellectual silos are simply not up to the task of meeting and addressing the pressing economic, social, and scientific challenges we face. The creativity and innovation necessary to solve non-routine problems requires interdisciplinarity. Moreover, new technologies drive opportunities for exchange across disciplines that were not possible in the past. And, student learning and engagement thrive when teaching is organized around student interests and real world problems rather than narrow disciplinary perspectives.

Read the section about interdisciplinarity ›


Engaging Campus Partners – an example from Montclair State University

The core campus partners at Montclair State University were the Office of Arts and Cultural Programming (ACP) and the Research Academy for University Learning (RAUL). Under the banner Peak Performances, ACP provides a place for innovative artists to create and present works across multiple disciplines. Artists include established and up-and-coming creators on a national and international level, as well as members from the College of the Arts. ACP’s role in the project was to identify and support the artists collaborating on the project, to spearhead project-related marketing and communications, and to provide administrative and documentation support during course development.

Read about the partners and process lessons ›


The Caduceus Rod approach – Using 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 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 ›


Tapping Into Community Needs – Class Divide, an example from Dartmouth University

Class Divide

Dartmouth University’s Hopkins Center’s three-year Class Divide project was conceived as a cross-campus / community programming initiative intended to raise awareness and spark discussion about socio-economic difference in communities throughout the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. Through a series of events, performances and residencies, the Hop aimed to both heighten their campus and community visibility, and to deepen their role in the higher education community at Dartmouth College. The Class Divide project began one-year prior to receipt of two-years of funding from the Creative Campus Innovations grant program.

Margaret Lawrence, Director of Programming, director Peter Sellars, faculty and students reflect on the Class Divide program:

Margaret Lawrence, Director of Programming, director Peter Sellars, faculty and students reflect on the Class Divide program.

Class discussion and analysis of educational impact:

Class discussion and analysis of educational impact.

Learn more about the program at Dartmouth College ›


Reviewing Three Interdisciplinary Approaches

In the 2010 evaluation report of the Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program, Alan Brown, Laura Mandeles and Jennifer Novak-Leonard indicate that the Creative Campus grants succeeded in stimulating the development of new models for arts-based interdisciplinary exchange initiated by campus-based presenters. While some of the models studied build on conventional practice (e.g. artist residencies), they are distinguished by their interdisciplinary nature and by the approaches used to conceive them. They observed three primary approaches:

  • Artist Focus
  • Thematic/Topical Focus
  • Stakeholder or Partner Focus

Read the summary of findings ›


Partnerships are Key to Successful Collaboration

In some respects, the Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program could be viewed as a study in partnerships: partnerships with artists, partnerships with faculty and academic departments, partnerships with student organizations, and partnerships with community organizations. Strong partnerships yielded strong and sustainable outcomes. Thus, grantees with strong process design and project management approaches (e.g., active task forces and committee structures) tended to outperform those with weaker approaches in terms of the grant program’s goals. The capacity to assess progress, reflect critically and diagnose problems was also associated with stronger outcomes.


Pairing Visiting Artists with Non-Arts Faculty – three examples from Wesleyan, Cal State and Montclair State

This strategy builds relationships and pedagogical practices that extend across disciplinary lines. At Wesleyan, co-taught courses coupled a dancer/choreographer with an environmental scientist who developed a curriculum that engaged students in the subject of climate change through scientific and artistic lenses. While engaging faculty artists proved to be relatively straightforward, engaging non-arts faculty proved more difficult. At some campuses, non-arts faculty could not be engaged in the project – not because of political or philosophical problems – but because of the advance planning requirements associated with modifying curriculum.

Partnerships at Wesleyan:

When the sequencing of the human genome was announced to the public, choreographer Liz Lerman of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange was one of many who asked what this would mean for the future. To help answer these questions, she developed Ferocious Beauty: Genome, a multimedia piece that explores the current historic moment of revelation and questioning in genetic research. The subject is represented through a plurality of viewpoints, mirroring a dialogue among multiple voices — artistic, scientific, and scholarly — in all their varied perspectives.

Wesleyan Science Choreography

She began collaborating with scientists across the country who investigate genes and their function. Wesleyan University began to work with Lerman in science classrooms using various movement-based tools developed by the Dance Exchange both to teach science and to encourage our students to think creatively about science – an exploration that has been met with great success.

Pam Tatge continues to describe various effective collaborations/pairings of environmental scientists, choreographers and others during the 18 month project:

Pam Tatge continues to describe various effective collaborations/pairings of environmental scientists, choreographers and others during the 18 month project.

Read more about Wesleyan’s Science Choreography ›

Read more about this and other successful program strategies ›

Introduction of co-taught visiting artist series at California State University, Long Beach:

Introduction of co-taught visiting artist series at California State University, Long Beach.

Browse the list of partners at Long Beach ›

Voices of campus partners at Montclair State University:

Wayne McGregor, choreographer, Random Dance Workshop:

Wayne McGregor, choreographer, Random Dance Workshop.

Robert Whitman, playwright, Passport Workshop:

Robert Whitman, playwright, Passport Workshop.

Robert Wilson, director, with Wayne McGregor:

Robert Wilson, director, with Wayne McGregor.

Scott DeLahunta, R-Research Director, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance discussing the “task” of the work:

Scott DeLahunta, R-Research Director, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance discussing the “task” of the work.

Elizabeth Streb, choreographer:

Elizabeth Streb, choreographer.

Michael Gordon, composer:

Michael Gordon, composer.

Read the full description of all Montclair State University artist partnerships ›

Get an overview of the artistic partnerships in the project’s final report ›