By Caitlin Shannon
For the past three years, the Mellon Arts and the Common Good Grant has funded a variety of interdisciplinary projects and performances. For its last year, the Mellon Arts Initiative is bringing more interdisciplinary events to Drew’s campus. Including various arts like dance, music, literature, and digital humanities, the Mellon Arts Initiative helps support creative projects that bring in an acknowledgement of a larger world.
Last year’s emphasis was on performance and the Mellon Arts programs this fall will continue that theme. The two dance pieces, “Re: Nude in a Landscape” and “On a Sunday Afternoon: Performance Party” will explore dance within a community.
“Re: Nude in a Landscape” is a performance collaboration between Lauren Bakst, a choreographer, and Yuri Masnyj, a sculptor, that examines the relation between bodies and things. The performance will be accompanied by a lecture to discuss the piece’s larger historical context and will occur on Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. in Crawford Hall.
“On a Sunday Afternoon: Performance Party” will bring together people from the Center for Civic Engagement, ARTS by the People, Lester Senior Housing Community and more for a performance of original works. Diana Crum works specifically with people who do not consider themselves dancers, including the audience members, so this performance is sure to be intriguing. The performance part will be in Crawford Hall on Nov. 13 at 3 p.m.
The highlight of the Mellon Arts Initiative’s year will be this year’s artist-in-residence, Julia Wolfe, a 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning composer. Wolfe focuses on experimental music and writing film scores. She also founded Bang on a Can, an experimental music collective in New York City. When Wolfe arrives on campus in the spring she will teach an interdisciplinary class, organize a symposium, work with students in workshops and give performances.
The Mellon Arts Initiative has also funded a variety of smaller projects that have come to fruition this summer. This summer’s Robotics ShortTrec to South Korea and Associate Professor of Comparative Religion Louis Hamilton’s ongoing digital humanities in Rome were partially funded by the grant. Associate Professor of English Patrick Phillips was awarded the Mellon faculty mini grant for his newly released book entitled “Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America,” regarding racial tensions in his hometown in Georgia.
Any questions about the Mellon Arts Initiative or the Artist in Residence can be directed to the Co-Directors of the program: Associate Professor of Art History Kim Rhodes and Associate Professor of Music Leslie Sprout. More information and dates about Mellon programming can be found here.
Sept. 16, 2016