Bring Your Kids, Bring Your Wife: Mellon Residencies are Everywhere

Clear your schedules, throw out your New Years resolutions, and forget about watching Walking Dead this spring, kiddos: The Mellon Residencies have returned.
Last fall, the Mellon Tri-College Creative Residencies Program made its formal debut with five residencies that included the participation of a dozen faculty members from seven departments on all three campuses, and the involvement of approximately 400 students and community members. Guests included choreographer and mathematician Karl Schaffer, sonic artist Christine Sun Kim, obituary writer Tim Bullamore, performance artist and environmental historian Jenny Price, and the dance company Carbon Dance Theatre.

This spring Mellon Tri-Co programming will double, with nearly a dozen artist visits on all three campuses. Events start this week, with a visit and exhibition by renowned photographer J Henry Fair. Next month, documentarian Louis Massiah will begin work with students from the French and Film Studies programs at Swarthmore in the development of their own film. Jenny price also returns for the first two-weeks of a four-week residency to collaborate with students and faculty from Environmental Studies, Sociology, and Political Science, on all three campuses in the creation of a Tri-College wide art event.

In March, in conjunction with the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery exhibition of work by Hank Willis Thomas at Haverford, we will host the first of two panels on the issue of race, sports and commercialism. Later in March, we will welcome distinguished calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya for a series of lectures and workshops with Political Science and Arabic Students. Also that month, the program will host award-winning filmmaker Judy Irving in a residency with faculty from Anthropology, Political Science, and Art History that will feature screenings of her work as well as class-visits.

In April, filmmaker and festival curator Shari Frilot, working with students in Gender Studies, Film Studies and History, will begin a month long residency that will include a partnership with the Schuylkill River Center. At Swarthmore, the program will support visits from numerous filmmakers to explore the issue of film and politics, including Jon Cohen, screenwriter of the sci-fi thriller, Minority Report. Finally in April, we will welcome prominent graphic novelist Jessica Abel for a series of class visits with English and Fine Arts students, lectures and a workshop with students and members of the community.

The spring promises expanded collaborations between faculty and students at the Tri-Colleges, and a plethora of opportunities to engage with world class artists from a wide variety of mediums and at different levels of intensity. Also, the spring brings the promise of real, honest-to-God updates on all of our events, including summaries and photos. To see a full schedule of events visit the main Mellon Tri-College Creative Residencies page, or contact residency coordinator, Tom W Bonner at


About Tom Bonner

Mellon Tri-College Creative Residencies Coordinator
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