History of the First Year Matters Program

 Feet to the Fire is a major undertaking on Wesleyan’s campus to examine critical environmental issues through multiple lenses, from science to art.  This program is dedicated to the proposition that a multidisciplinary examination that includes art will provide a more comprehensive and deeper understanding of these global issues.  The Feet to the Fire program includes lectures, performances, co-taught teaching modules, and courses by the faculty, visiting artists and lecturers, student-run fora, community eco-arts festivals, afterschool programs for children, and the First Year Matters program.  Each year, the campus adopts an environmental theme for its First Year Matters program, such as water, global climate change, or hunger.  During orientation, first-year students engage in multidisciplinary discussions about the theme but also participate in a Common Moment in which the arts are used to catalyze and embody our understanding.

Feet to the Fire was originally launched in 2008 with a leadership grant from Arts Presenters Creative Campus Innovations Program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.