Come Celebrate With Us!

Welcome to the Year of the Arts!

Here you will find a list of exciting events offered throughout the year. We are excited to celebrate the creative spirit that drives art, theater, music, writers and countless other disciplines.

Research emphasizes the importance of creativity. In 2012 Adobe Systems published a report entitled Creativity and Education: Why It Matters. A survey of 1000 college-educated professionals from a wide range of disciplines produced the following findings:

  • 88% agree creativity should be built into education curriculums and 72% agree they were more focused on subject matter than creative thinking in school;
  • 85% agree creative thinking is critical for problem-solving in their career but nearly one-third do not feel comfortable thinking creatively at work;
  • Creativity is regarded as one of the top three personality traits most important to career success.

Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future (2006), articulates the importance of creativity and imagination as we move into the Conceptual Age. “What’s important now are the characteristics of the brain’s right hemisphere: artistry, empathy, inventiveness, big-picture thinking” (Pink, 2009, interview with Oprah Winfrey). Visual artists are particularly strong in this area because they are able to combine disparate things into something new, which is now, according to Pink, a predictor of “star performance” in the work place.

The Year of the Arts is a series of events and activities that will allow varying levels of engagement for everyone. In order to focus the conversation, the Year of the Arts will focus on four big questions that students and speakers will address over the course of the academic year.

  1. How is art related to identity?
  2. What are the roles of “dangerous” art?
  3. How is art a form of commerce?
  4. Is this art?

Students, as part of the Year of the Arts, there are two ways in which you can participate. The first is a competition for the most artistically cultured Greek House and Residence Hall. The rules are simple. The house/residence hall with the highest per capita attendance at Year of the Arts events will be crowned champions and become the stewards of the Crown of Laurels. All events listed on the Year of the Arts calendar will be counted toward the competition. You can also look for our logo attached on campus concierge announcements. Students need only locate the Student Check-in sign at each event to have their ID card swiped just prior to the event.

The second initiative is for all of the students who want to actually engage the creative process. On December 1, students will be able to submit a short abstract discussing a creative project they wish to complete during the spring semester. Ten proposals will be awarded a mini-grant of $250 for materials (as needed) and be assigned a faculty mentor. At the end of the spring semester all of the entries will be exhibited and juried for monetary prizes. Students can choose to create an art piece (painting, sculpture, computer art), a performance piece (dance, theater, music), an interactive game, a newly designed or redesigned product (furniture, chopsticks), a proposed design for a system to clean pollutions from our oceans … this possibilities are endless. The only requirement is that the final solution be creative and unique. Final submissions may be real or conceptual.

A calendar is available so that you may plan your year of activities. We will be offering a Speaker Series in the fall along with numerous exhibitions, performances and other activities, like the Fall Festival.

Please join us!