$750,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant Will Support Programs, Initiatives of the Center for the Arts

February 6, 2014

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts a $750,000 grant to support the Creative Campus Initiative and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance.

Half a million dollars of the $750,000 grant will be matched by $1 million to be raised to endow continued cross-disciplinary Creative Campus activities. With support from Wesleyan alumni, the fundraising campaign to meet this challenge is being launched on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the CFA during the 2013-14 season.

"This terrific grant is a recognition of the critical role the arts play at Wesleyan," said President Michael S. Roth. "The CFA understands art as fundamental to a liberal education and its Creative Campus Initiative makes arts accessible to students and faculty in all disciplines; the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance supports an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach to performance. Both of these programs contribute to the rich artistic life at Wesleyan and have impact far beyond campus as well."

The grant will support the development of new work by a range of diverse artists, interdisciplinary collaborations, co-teaching initiatives and arts-based campus-wide projects of the Creative Campus Initiative, as well as the ICPP, the University’s post-graduate program.

"With this leadership support, we will be able to continue forging powerful connections between numerous faculty in different departments and between faculty and visiting artists, so that the arts are more deeply integrated into non-arts areas at Wesleyan for the benefit of our students," said Pamela Tatge, Director of the CFA."“We will also be able to extend the reach of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance through a field-wide convening this July."

The event on July 25 will underscore ICPP’s commitment to the evolving field of performance curation, and will affirm its role as a leading proponent of curatorial inquiry, addressing contemporary performance through a variety of institutional platforms and intersections with other disciplines. Designed for presenters, curators, artists and members of the cultural community, the day-long symposium will include panel discussions, artist lectures/performances, and interactive work-sessions.

The Mellon Foundation previously awarded the Center for the Arts a grant in July 2010 to help support the expansion of the Creative Campus Initiative's cross-disciplinary exchanges, development of new courses, and student engagement in a wide variety of opportunities to make, experience and understand art; as well as support the planning and partial funding to launch the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance to enhance professional practice in the presenting field.

The goals of the Creative Campus Initiative at Wesleyan are to provide arts experiences for students that illuminate issues of cultural and societal concern; to allow students to integrate arts research and practice into their work in other disciplines; to provide non-arts faculty with the tools to involve integration of artistic research methods and modes of inquiry; and to support artists in theater, music and dance (both faculty artists and visiting artists) who work with scholars and materials in non-arts areas in ways that will advance the artists’ own research, and extend the arts into new areas of campus curricular and co-curricular life.