Creative Campus Initiative
At Wesleyan, 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 prgroam strategies:
Sponsoring the creation of new courses and teaching modules developed and taught by artists and academics in non-arts fields.
Supporting generative artists in theater, music, and dance (including faculty and visiting artists) to work with scholars and materials in non-arts areas to advance the artists' research and extend the arts into campus curricular and co-curricular life.
- Organizing arts-based experiences for students that illuminate issues of cultural and societal concern.
- Learning from the courses, modules, programs, and collaborations, and distributing these lessons at Wesleyan, to other academic institutions, and to performing arts presenters, arts funders, and others who can benefit from the results.
Science Choreography was the CFA’s first experiment with cross-disciplinary exchanges. This exchange was focused of using dance as a tool to understand biology within the classroom, particularly in the form of modules. After seeing the benefits of connecting the arts and sciences, the CFA partnered with Barry Chernoff, then a professor in the Earth & Environmental studies department at Wesleyan, to develop Feet to the Fire (F2F).
F2F began in 2008 and examined environmental topics from a multi-disciplinary, cross-campus perspective, from science to art. The areas for connection to F2F went beyond modules, to include co-taught courses, commissions for visiting artists and faculty artists, as well as community-wide activities. This cross-disciplinary exchange was extended further in 2010 to include all academic disciplines. Like F2F, Other Cross Disciplinary Exchanges consist of modules, co-taught courses, and commissions, but has mainly afforded Wesleyan the opportunity to reimagine the way artists can interact on campus, particularly in the realm of artist research and experimentation.
Science Choreography began as a collaboration between choreographer Liz Lerman and scientists at Wesleyan University. Together Lerman and various science faculty used various movement-based tools both to teach science and encourage students to think creatively about science.
Other Cross Disciplinary Exchanges integrate artists into the curricular and co-curricular life at Wesleyan. Among our initiatives are courses, performance, and other collaborative projects that strengthen teaching, student learning, and artmaking.