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News : Education Jan 29, 2014 - 5:54:34 AM

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts Awarded Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

By Wesleyan University

$750,000 grant continues the Foundation's support of the artistic and curricular initiatives of

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Middletown, CT - The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts a grant of $750,000 to be used over 3 1/2 years in continued support of 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 Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP), the University's post-graduate program. $500,000 of the award will be matched by $1 million to be raised to build a dedicated endowment to sustain continued innovative cross-disciplinary Creative Campus activities, ensuring that the performing arts continue to be organically integrated into non-arts areas at Wesleyan. With support from Wesleyan alumni, the fundraising campaign to meet this challenge is being launched on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Center for the Arts during the 2013-2014 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."

"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 Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University. "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 convening at Wesleyan on July 25, 2014 will underscore ICPP’s commitment to the evolving field of performance curation, and will affirm its role as a leading proponent of curatorial inquiry that addresses 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 Andrew W. 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.

About the Creative Campus Initiative

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 new pedagogical tools that 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.

The Creative Campus Initiative has supported commissions, performances, and exhibitions by visiting artists including Allison Orr, Ann Carlson, Asphalt Orchestra, Barbara Croall, Cassie Meador, Eiko Otake, Glenn McClure, Halau o Keikiali'i, Jason Freeman, Jill Sigman, Leigh Fondakowski and Reeva Wortel, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Liz Lerman and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Morgan Thorson, and Rinde Eckert; and faculty members including Alvin Lucier, Gina Ulysse, Hari Krishnan, Leslie Weinberg and Puppetsweat Theater, Nicole Stanton, Katja Kolcio, Paula Matthusen, Ronald Jenkins, and Ronald Kuivila.

For more information about the Creative Campus Initiative, please visit

About the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance

The Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) was founded in 2010 by Wesleyan graduates Samuel A. Miller and Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts, in partnership with Judy Hussie-Taylor and New York’s Danspace Project in response to the co-existence and cross-pollination of idea- and technique-based performance practice. 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, traditional/culturally specific programs, and various combinations of these and other disciplines. 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 take six courses in curatorial practice, the social and cultural context for performance, and entrepreneurial strategies, and create a final independent project that integrates their course of study.

Currently there is no post-graduate program in the United States that solely addresses curatorial practice in performance. The Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance fills this gap, as an interest in contemporary performance is thriving, particularly in the museum setting. ICPP is committed to training arts professionals who will build on the momentum of contemporary performance by using new information and resources as creatively as possible, while also understanding how historical practices have shaped where we are today.

For more information about the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, please call (860) 685-3283, or visit

About the Center for the Arts

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, celebrating its 40th anniversary during the 2013-2014 season, exists to catalyze people’s creativity by engaging them in the dynamic work of diverse artists.

Three inter-related activities enable the CFA to realize its purpose:
supporting the research, public productions and in-studio teaching needs of the departments of Art and Art History, Dance, Music, and Theater;
leading inter-disciplinary collaborations and other initiatives that integrate artists into creative curricular and co-curricular initiatives; and
organizing powerful encounters between visiting artists and diverse elements of the Wesleyan community, the greater Middletown community, statewide and regional audiences.

The Center for the Arts' eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 400-seat Crowell Concert Hall, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, and classrooms and studios.

The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Dance/USA, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford Courant, Shore Publishing, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.

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