Photo Credit: Toni Gauthier
Engaging the Arts and Creativity
"Imagination, originality, and risk taking should not be byproducts of a university education. They should be its core."
Jonathan Berger and Bryan Wolf
Faculty Leaders of the Arts Initiative
Education in the arts and humanities is the foundation of a liberal arts education and serves three important roles. First, it prepares graduates to deal with the complexity, diversity, and ambiguity of human societies. Second, it draws out and develops personal creativity. Third, the arts bridge all cultures, providing access to the experience of people in other times and places. In the contemporary world in which Stanford graduates will lead and inspire, understanding complexity, finding creative solutions to problems, and navigating the richness of human culture are essential capabilities. To ensure our students develop these skills, we have launched the Arts Initiative.
The Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA)
The Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, established in 2006, acts as the initiative's nerve center, leading the development of new undergraduate arts programs; hosting artists in residence; administering new multidisciplinary graduate degree programs; awarding grants for multidisciplinary arts research and teaching; incubating collaborative performances and exhibitions with campus partners and other institutions; and providing centralized communication for Stanford arts events and programs.
The Arts in Undergraduate Life
The initiative begins with undergraduate life, creating new arts courses and adding arts elements throughout the curriculum, bringing arts programs and studios into student residences, providing grants for undergraduate research and performance, and subsidizing student attendance at arts events on and off campus.
Strengthening the Core
The initiative also will strengthen Stanford's core programs in the arts — the departments of art and art history, drama and dance, and music; the Creative Writing Program; and the Cantor Arts Center — adding faculty, graduate fellowships, and studio space.
Expanding arts activity within and beyond Stanford, the initiative will bring together faculty and students from departments all across campus to collaborate on innovative performances and exhibitions, work together with organizations such as Stanford Lively Arts and in new settings such as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, and establish new graduate programs for artists and art scholars. The initiative will bring to Stanford renowned artists in residence and forge ongoing partnerships with theaters, museums, and other prominent arts organizations.
World-Class Arts Facilities
Finally, the initiative aims to improve and expand Stanford's arts facilities. The university plans to create an "Arts District" anchored by the existing Cantor Arts Center that includes a new performing arts center, a new building for the Department of Art and Art History, and several new classroom, studio, rehearsal, and performance spaces. Elsewhere on campus, the university has renovated the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and initiated a new building for the Plattner Design Institute, and is planning dedicated arts spaces within several student residences.