$490,000 Grant Supports Film and New Media Curriculum at Colorado College - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release


Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


New strategies, hiring, 'semester in arts' envisioned

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Dec. 23, 2010 – Colorado College has received a $490,000, three-year grant from the Mellon Foundation to support new approaches to the arts. Recognizing that new media and emerging technologies are transforming the liberal arts, the college will develop a curriculum that reinforces its interdisciplinary initiatives, with a significant emphasis on film and new media.

The grant also makes possible a semester in the arts, which is ideally suited to the academic structure and flexibility of Colorado College’s Block Plan, in which students study one course at a time in intensive, three-week segments.

The grant allows the college to explore the implications of digital communication and new media for the liberal arts by focusing on the creative arts. In particular, the college will be able to examine more thoroughly how the arts can tap other liberal arts disciplines for content and how new technologies can foster connections among diverse art forms. The college also will use the arts to encourage students to regard new media with a more critical eye and to use its elements in more intentional manner.

The curriculum that Colorado College envisions moves in two directions: It gives new media and the arts a more prominent place in students’ educations, and it incorporates the liberal arts more directly into the arts, especially where new media and traditional creative forms come together.

In order to better understand how the arts and digital media affect students’ approaches to other disciplines, Colorado College hopes to revise some of its current classes and develop new courses, focusing on:

  • Separate courses connected through a common project.
  • A semester in the arts, including creative and critical courses and ending with a festival featuring students’ work.
  • Co-taught courses such as New Media: Performance and Installation, which bring theory to bear on practice and reinforce the logic of collaboration among disciplines.

The nearly half-million-dollar grant also will allow the college to enhance staffing by:

  • Hiring post-graduate fellows who have completed their MFAs or doctorates and whose interests and training span disciplines.
  • Hiring a film and/or new media scholar for a tenure-track position.
  • Inviting specific film makers to campus for courses in basic and advanced film making and for special subjects related to production and emerging digital technologies.
  • Bringing visitors to campus who support and advance the program’s creative, new media sectors, while also working with students on creative projects.

Some of the artists would be regular visitors who would create a “core” of blocks, while others would offer one-time classes only. This combination of artists-in-residence will extend the number of digital and new media courses offered while providing necessary continuity for students.

With the recent inauguration of the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, the college has the physical resources, the faculty, the desire, and the enthusiasm to take the next step in exploring the ways new media redefine the liberal arts, especially in the realm of the arts.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week segments. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>.