Lafayette kicked off its multi-year START Project this weekend with faculty workshops and a festival of arts-based displays, performances, and presentations in Anderson Courtyard and Acopian Engineering Center. Funded by an $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the initiative will further integrate the performing and visual arts throughout the curriculum and co-curricular activities, create new programs in the arts, and enhance existing ones.
Two lectures highlighted examples of ways the arts have been used as teaching tools across multiple disciplines at other institutions and a daylong workshop for faculty and staff focused on developing course modules that integrate the visual and performing arts into a broad array of classes. Jan Cohen-Cruz, former director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, presented “Hyphenated Arts: Integrating Arts and Other Disciplines in the Curriculum and Beyond,” and John Weber, director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, presented “Exhibitions, Objects, and Interdisciplinary Teaching.”
The START Fest allowed students, faculty, and staff to get a taste of the art and music that are already being created by members of the campus community. The event included an exhibition of student artwork, presentations of various arts-based research projects, performances by student and faculty ensembles, and a concert presented by hip-hop artists Baba Brinkman & Jamie Simmonds.