2009-10: The Year of Art + Invention
As we head into the final phase of the Stanford Challenge, we are excited to see the Arts Initiative and SiCa continue to grow and prosper. Our goal from the very start has been to strengthen the presence of the arts on campus, making the arts an inescapable part of every student’s Stanford experience, while also linking the arts to the long-term educational goals of the university: teaching students to interact imaginatively and creatively with the world around them; linking the arts and humanities; and promoting the integration of arts, science, and technology.
SiCa continues to provide meaningful and lasting arts experiences for our students and the community. In 2009-10 SiCa sponsored over 65 public arts events, including our internationally renowned "Music and the Brain" symposium—now in its fifth year–and helped bring over 110 individual visiting artists to campus, sponsoring major artist residencies in the Stanford Humanities Center, Art and Art History, Biology, Dance, Design, Drama, English, French Literature, and Music departments. Through our curricular grant program, "Farm Aid," we brought the arts into 46 courses, reaching over 2,000 students. "Off The Farm," our residentially based grant program, helped purchase 1,826 tickets to off-campus arts events around the Bay Area and beyond. Through SiCa’s Graduate Fellowship Program, six MFA, MA, and PhD students continued their degree work in Art and Art History, and Drama. These important graduate fellowships are the result of extraordinary donations from Stanford alumni.
In an effort to unify our arts programming this past year, we tried an experiment. We created a "theme year." In conjunction with a major artist residency at Stanford Lively Arts funded by a Doris Duke Foundation "Creative Campus" grant, we dedicated the year to the exploration of "Art + Invention," a theme that highlighted particular strengths at Stanford: imagination, innovation, and interdisciplinary thinking. Among the rich array of theme-year activities, students were showcased at a capstone event, the "Student Works Festival," which featured faculty-nominated, original student works in dance, music, and film.
Partnerships continue to be an important element to deepening the presence of the arts on campus. During winter quarter, the Public Theater of New York sent director Rob Melrose to mount an eye-opening student production of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. Through our ongoing partnership with the Stanford Humanities Center, Welsh National Poet Gwyneth Lewis wowed the Stanford community during her year-long residency as joint Arts and Humanities Fellow. SiCa introduced an arts administration internship program for undergraduates in summer 2009, placing students at the Public Theater, the SF Exploratorium, 1stAct Silicon Valley, and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. In summer 2009 SiCa also initiated a partnership with the Stanford Center for the Support of Excellence in Teaching (CSET), sponsoring a two-week humanities and arts seminar for K-12 teachers from the Bay Area.
Summer 2009 saw the inaugural Arts Intensive program, giving undergraduates the chance to dive deeper into their creative studies for two weeks in September. As a follow-up to the Arts Intensive, SiCa piloted an arts immersion trip to New York for Stanford undergraduates during spring break 2010. With the generous assistance of our New York alumni, we sent 23 students on a tour of the Big Apple, visiting museums; attending operas, concerts, and dance performances; and going behind the scenes to meet with artists, gallery owners, and arts administrators.
We thank all our generous friends for making the "arts happen" in so many special ways at Stanford, and we invite you to join us as the adventure continues.
Looking Ahead to 2010-11: The Year of Memory
SiCa, in coordination with Stanford Lively Arts, Continuing Studies, and a host of academic departments, will dedicate the 2010-11 academic year to the theme of Memory. Taken from a wide range of disciplinary vantages, we have designed numerous events and programs that will explore how memories get constructed and how they function individually, socially, and culturally.
Memory is both personal and collective. It is never simply about the past. Instead, memory is something that individuals and nations construct in the present in order to understand the past and shape the future. Memories are a form of private and collective storytelling. Artists often capture, contextualize, and reinterpret the past. They sometimes create fictional memories that reinvent the past as it might have been.
The biological bases of human memory and cognition is the subject of a broad range of current research in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The arts serve both as a basis of research on memory and as a means of interpreting the constantly changing body of knowledge about memory.
The year of Memory includes concerts, lectures, exhibitions, films, and symposia aimed at understanding the function of memory, what constitutes history, and how artists evoke the past.
We welcome you to join us in our collective exploration of Memory. Visit the Memory website online at: http://memory1011.stanford.edu
Professor of Art and Art History; The Jeanette and William Hayden Jones Professor in American Art and Culture
The Denning Family Provostial Professor; The William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Fellow in Undergraduate Education