I have a LinkedIn profile. Don’t hate. LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with colleagues and develop professional connections—and it’s also handy for creeping on people when Facebook gets boring. Anyways, if you visit my profile, in the section titled “Skills and Expertise”, you will note that one of my skills is “creative problem solving.” LinkedIn gave me the option to put this, and at first I listed it almost as a joke. But, as I consider my new position as the Tri-College Creative Residencies Coordinator for Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore (not necessarily in that order), I’ve come to think of that ability as being invaluable to my work. In fact, my entire professional life, whether as a director, production manager, stage manager, or producer, has been about bringing together the right people and resources to solve challenges.
There are two goals that the Tri-College Creative Residencies aim to achieve, which in turn are meant to accomplish a singular broader objective. The first and most obvious goal is to increase collaboration between faculty and students at the three campuses. The second more challenging goal—and what attracted me to the job in the first place—is to integrate the arts into traditionally non-artistic curricula. Through the achievement of these goals, the program aims to encourage students and faculty and artists to think about a familiar subject in a new way; to challenge an established perspective with critical, creative thinking.
This dynamic learning process, referred to popularly as STEAM (science, technology, arts, and mathematics) has gained momentum in recent years and is a driving force behind programs like the Tri-Co Creative Residencies.
This fall, as the program launches we will be working with visual artists to explore disability, a choreographer to understand mathematics, and an obituary writer to examine sociology—and all of this is really experimentation. The goal of the program, as documented here, will be to develop programing and curricula that truly push the envelope of how students, artists and faculty traditionally collaborate and grow as thinkers.
This blog will feature previews, reviews, guest entries, and general speculations.