- Works for China
- A Homecoming
- Voices of Experience
- Shooting Star
- Made in Detroit, Mastered at Michigan
- A Free Man in Paris
- At Home Away from Home
- Giving Update
in every issue
Message from the Dean
"As the world gets smaller, and global interaction and the search for common solutions to our shared problems becomes a higher priority, research universities can take the lead."
Whether or not you subscribe to the often-heard theory that there’s a “creativity crisis” in America, it’s clear that the more at home students in all disciplines feel in creative processes, the more effective they’ll be in all facets of human endeavor. With this premise in mind, Living Arts, a living-learning community in Bursley Hall sponsored by ArtsEngine, was launched last fall. Eighty students from disciplines as seemingly disparate as engineering, music, and art exercised their curiosity and pooled their unique skills in interdisciplinary creative projects. Living Arts just celebrated its very successful first year.
Universities around the country are examining the role of the arts at their institutions. This year, when the Rackham Graduate School put out a call for proposals for its annual Michigan Meetings, ArtsEngine put in a bid and won support for one of the two conferences. “The Role of Art-Making and the Arts in the Research University” was held May 4-6, drawing some 200 provosts, deans, directors, faculty, and administrative leaders from major universities across the country to Ann Arbor. Three days of addresses by distinguished speakers, lively discussions, workshops, and hands-on creativity activities only gave further credence to the notion that the arts, and the making of art, are among the most powerful carriers of creativity, providing the deep cognitive diversity required for groundbreaking collaboration.
Later in the month, the second Michigan Meeting, “Developing Global Sustainability—China/U.S. Partnerships,” brought together an interdisciplinary set of academic, government, and industry researchers from China and the United States to discuss a set of mutually pressing issues in energy, transportation, and water, the kinds of problems that require creative solutions. As the world gets smaller, and global interaction and the search for common solutions to our shared problems becomes a higher priority, research universities can take the lead.
The University Symphony Band, touring China this May, is taking the ambassadorship of art to that vast continent as we move one step closer to acknowledging the interdependent web of humanity and the creative, common language of music. A China blog has been set up for students and faculty to share their stories as the tour unfolds: http://moore.music.umich.edu/chinablog/ The student group Arts Enterprise is hoping to launch an international exchange program to continue the relationships the band develops with students from the Beijing Central Conservatory. You’ll find all this and more in the fall 2011 Michigan Muse.
Christopher Kendall, Dean
School of Music, Theatre & Dance