Wesleyan University

Certificate Program


Who is it for?
The Certificate in Curatorial Practice in Performance is designed for arts professionals such as presenters, festival organizers, curators, and producers as well as professionals from other fields who are interested in including performance practice in their work. The curation of live and time-based work is the primary focus of this program and it is designed so that students can learn to modify and adapt curatorial practices from one discipline to another. ICPP welcomes emerging curators as well as other arts professionals who are interested in time-based art practices in visual art, traditional arts and the performing arts. The emphasis of the program is on the how of curating and focused on developing tools to contextualize performance. Course material will vary from year to year based on both faculty and student areas of interest.

How long does it last?
The program lasts nine months and consists of three semesters anchored by three on-campus residency periods (one two-week residency in July and two three-day residencies in the following November and March).

Who are the instructors?
The ICPP has a small group of core instructors who hold year-round academic positions at Wesleyan and other universities, as well as guest instructors who have specialized knowledge in theoretical and professional aspects of the field, including curators, writers and presenters. Through a deep engagement with instructors and other students, the Program is designed to create a national network of professionals who are invested in the rigorous application of curatorial practices to performance.

What do we mean by performance?
The Certificate Program considers performance in its broadest sense and the curriculum addresses time-based art practices of artists, curators and cultural leaders working in dance, performance art, experimental theater and traditional/culturally specific programs and various combinations of these and other disciplines. While students will have exposure to artistic and curatorial practices from multiple aesthetic perspectives and cultural lineages, the Certificate Program is not intended to be comprehensive in its examination of performance forms and their histories.

Why Wesleyan?
Wesleyan is a top tier university with an international reputation for academic excellence and experimentation and creativity in the arts. The Certificate Program draws on Wesleyan's multiple aesthetic traditions, its institutional commitment to interdisciplinary and intercultural approaches and its vast network of alumni in the arts. Wesleyan is located in Middletown, Connecticut, a short two-hour drive from New York City, making it easily accessible for visiting artists, scholars and curators.

Who else is involved?
Danspace Project, a leading presenter of cutting-edge dance in New York City since 1974, is a core collaborator on the design and implementation of the ICPP. In January 2010, Danspace Project launched a series of artist-curated dance initiatives, the PLATFORMS series, which serves as a prime example of new directions in curatorial practices in performance. Through partnerships such as this, the ICPP is committed to artistic exchange, opportunities for student mentorship, and peer-to-peer networking.


Student Expectations

Students are required to read a number of books and articles prior to their arrival at the July intensive. Four of the six classes have required readings, short written assignments and one larger research paper (12–15 pages). In addition, the Independent Project requires a proposal outline, regular written updates and a final research paper (12–15 pages). The two half credit courses require a few short assignments.

The ICPP is an academic program developed by an advisory committee composed of Wesleyan faculty and field professionals. All students will be asked to uphold the University's academic standards (outlined in Student Handbook) and apply themselves rigorously to the Program.

The ICPP is interested in accepting students who will make the most of this dedicated time and, for nine months, make this program their priority.


ICPP Policies

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: If admitted students withdraw from the program, there will be no refund of deposit or tuition and fees.

Leaves of Absence: If an admitted student begins and fails to complete the program due to health, personal, or other reasons, s/he will not be permitted to complete the program another year, but must reapply as a new student.

Grading: Courses are graded with letter grades A-F or Credit/No Credit based on the course; students may not elect to take a graded course as Credit/No Credit.

Incompletes: Professors may grant incompletes on a case-by-case basis, but all course work in all courses must be completed by April 15, otherwise a certificate will not be awarded.

Attendance Policy: Students must attend all ICPP sessions in order to successfully complete the program.

Required Withdrawal: The ICPP reserves the right to refuse to retain any student in any program or course at any time. An instructor may require a student to withdraw from a course if the student fails to meet the announced conditions of enrollment. Students are responsible for withdrawing officially even if the instructor has determined that they may not continue in the course.

Academic Discipline: ICPP students are expected to maintain a B average and have completed all work for their courses by April 15 (no outstanding incompletes) in order to be eligible to be awarded the certificate.

Tuition and Fees: Tuition for ICPP is $9,500. A $500 deposit is due by May 15 in order to secure a spot in the program. Full tuition is due by June 17. Students who have not paid full tuition by June 17 risk losing their spot in the program. Tuition is payable by check to Wesleyan University. If a student elects to participate in the payment plan offered through TMS, they must remain up to date with their payments; a student's account must be in good standing in order for them to participate in the program—including on-campus residencies.

Electronic Portfolio: All ICPP students are given an electronic portfolio, accessible from the main page of the Wesleyan University website. Through the e-portfolio, students may view current classes, schedules, and classroom locations, as well as academic history including grades. Students' grades for current courses will appear in their e-portfolios within 48 hours after the grades have been submitted. To log in to your e-portfolio, visit www.wesleyan.edu/portfolio.

Photo Identification Card: All ICPP students are expected to have a current Wesleyan photo identification card, called the WesCard. This card provides access to library borrowing privileges and access to other campus facilities such as the athletic center, and some classroom buildings. It also must be presented to obtain student discounts where advertised.

Library Facilities: ICPP students have borrowing privileges at Wesleyan libraries. Students should consult the library's website for hours of operation and other information: http://www.wesleyan.edu/libr. Reference help is available in the library, by phone (860-685-3873) or by email (reference@wesleyan.edu). For more involved research, students can make appointments with a librarian: http://www.wesleyan.edu/libr/services/personalresearch.html. ICPP students are advised to pay close attention to the library’s loan and recall policies if borrowing books in between on-campus residencies. The main telephone number of the Olin Library is (860) 685-2660; the Science Library is (860) 685-2860; and the Art Library is (860) 685-3327.

ITS Helpdesk: The ITS Helpdesk is located on the first floor of the Exley Science Center in room 143. Student consultants are on duty in the fall and spring Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 10 pm; Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm; and Sundays from 5 to 10 pm, and during the summer on Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm (refer to the ITS website, http://helpdesk.wesleyan.edu, for changes in hours). Consultants can answer all questions regarding computing at Wesleyan and act as a first contact point for any major problems. The Helpdesk provides disk recovery, as well as basic tutorials on all of Wesleyan's computer systems and software. Questions sent by email to helpdesk@wesleyan.edu are answered within 24 hours.

Resetting Student Password: If a student forgets his or her password, the password will need to be reset. Students should send an email to operations@wesleyan.edu, or call the ITS Operations office at (860) 685-4100. Include your name, address, home phone number, WesID#, birthdate, and the last four digits of your SSN in the email request. Or go in person to the ITS Helpdesk with your photo ID (WesCard or driver's license), and identify yourself as an ICPP student.

Computer Labs: ITS operates many public labs equipped with powerful, late-model computers. In addition to common applications available campus-wide, these regional labs offer access to specialized software in the arts and humanities, social sciences, the sciences, and mathematics. All of the labs are connected to the campus network and the Internet. The software for the labs and lab hours can be found at the Academic Computing Labs section of the ITS website, http://www.wesleyan.edu/its/ims/labs.

Wesleyan Campus Computer Store and Service Center: The Campus Computer Store provides a wide range of computers, printers, peripherals, and software at competitive prices, including software licensing of Microsoft Office. Some programs may be available for free download through the Campus Computer Store website. Dell, Apple, HP, and Microsoft are just some of the manufacturers whose products are available at the Campus Computer Store. Warranty service is provided by Apple and Dell. Any computer in need of repair is always welcome and will be billed on a time and materials basis. Visit the Campus Computer Store's website, http://www.wesleyan.edu/its/store, to see available products and current specials. The store is located in the Usdan University Center on Wyllys Avenue. The store accepts cash and checks only.

Resources for Students with Disabilities: Wesleyan University is committed to supporting all students in their academic endeavors. The University provides services and reasonable accommodations to all students who need and have a legal entitlement to such accommodations. For more information about resources available, please contact Mary Kelly, Associate Director, Continuing Studies at csdisabilityservice@wesleyan.edu.



The ICPP's curriculum is designed to deepen the professional student's knowledge of diverse curatorial practices and improve critical thinking and writing skills. ICPP students are required to take six courses:
1/2 credit course which constitutes the Introductory Colloquium
2 courses in Artistic and Curatorial Practice
2 courses in Special Topics in Social and Cultural Context
1/2 credit course in Entrepreneurial Strategies
1 course which constitutes the Final Independent Project

Artistic and Curatorial Practice: Students will consider work from a range of time-based artists. Students will learn about a wide range of curatorial models in the performing and visual arts including past, current and evolving trends in multidisciplinary art centers, festivals, museums, theaters, university presenters and biennials. Students will deepen their own curatorial knowledge with an emphasis on contextualizing artistic practice and process.

Special Topics in Social and Cultural Context: Contemporary artists draw upon a rich mix of cross-disciplinary and multinational influences. It is important, as a curator, to be familiar with those influences and be able to put them into a larger context. Students will study key movements in recent social and cultural history and be exposed to a range of influential ideas from the fields of anthropology, linguistics, performance studies, and contemporary theory.

Entrepreneurial Strategies: Often, arts professionals must work closely with artists and resource-holders in order to fully realize the artists' visions. Students will be exposed to diverse ways of approaching partnerships and attracting resources. Students will consider strategies for nurturing artistic practice and understanding the needs of partners, audiences, and other key stake holders.

Final Independent Project: The Independent Project is a curatorial project plan that the student undertakes in the second half of the Certificate Program. It can be planned for the student's "home" institution (if the student is affiliated with an institution), for one of the ICPP's partner institutions, or independently. In all cases, students will be paired with an ICPP instructor or a field professional to act as a project advisor. The advisor provides intensive feedback on the project plan.

Academic Calendar

The certificate is a low-residency, nine-month academic program. Students will complete work at home and online in between on-campus intensives at Wesleyan University. Dates for the 2013–14 on-campus intensives are: July 12–28, 2013; November 14–17, 2013; and March 7–10, 2014.



Image: Center for the Arts Courtyard, Wesleyan University