November 8, 2010

2011 Arts Innovation Program grants announced

University awarded approximately $24,000 in stimulate new courses in the arts and other arts-related efforts

The Johns Hopkins University has awarded approximately $24,000 in grants to students and faculty to stimulate new courses in the arts and other arts-related efforts on the Homewood campus, said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums.

Initiated in 2006, the Arts Innovation Program offers funding to faculty to create new courses in the arts for undergraduates, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and cross-divisional courses. The program also supports the artistic efforts of students, both those currently engaged in arts activities and those wishing to create a new venture, with an emphasis on making connections between Johns Hopkins students and the Baltimore community.

Four student-proposed arts initiatives will benefit from the funding.

Senior history major Shayna Abramson will receive a grant to create an interfaith performing arts program that will produce two short plays during Intersession in January 2011.

Sophomore history of art major Laura Somenzi, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, will use the funds to support the publication of a catalog she is writing to accompany her exhibition dedicated to Zelda Fitzgerald that is scheduled to open at the university’s Evergreen Museum & Library in fall 2011.
Sophomores Emily Bihl, a Writing Seminars and English major with a minor in film and media studies, and Hannah Froehle, an international relations and German major, will organize the project LBD: Liberation by Design under the auspices of the Digital Media Center. Fifteen artists and students will personalize basic black wrap dresses that will be shown in a fashion show and auctioned off for charity during the university’s inaugural arts festival, planned for April 8 to 10, 2011.

Political science and anthropology sophomore Anna Zetkulic will organize the Hopkins Clay Initiative, a service-based program specializing in the art of pottery. The new group of student potters will create ceramic objects that will be sold to benefit Baltimore social service organizations.

Additionally, three new courses will receive support.

In spring 2011, Phyllis Berger, photography instructor in the Homewood Art Workshops, and Lester K. Spence, assistant professor of political science and Africana studies in the Krieger School, will teach Black Visual Politics, an interdisciplinary course in which students will address the politics of black families, the black self and black spaces in conjunction with visual analysis of related photographic images. The results of their study will culminate in individual photographic portfolios that will be displayed during the arts festival in April.

In Introduction to Computer Music, students will explore electronic music as a long-standing art form, and create original musical works by recording and manipulating sound on computers. This lecture and lab course will be taught in fall 2011 by Stephen C. Stone, chair of the Music Theory Department at the Peabody Conservatory; composer Mark A. Lackey, adjunct professor at the Peabody Conservatory; and sound artist Rose Burt, audio specialist at the Digital Media Center.

Also to be offered in fall 2011 is Halls of Wonder: Art and Culture in the Age of the Marvelous, 1500–1800, a collaboration with the Walters Art Museum led by Earle Havens, curator of early books and manuscripts at the university’s Sheridan Libraries; Walter Stephens, the Charles S. Singleton Professor of Italian, German and Romance Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins; and Joneath Spicer, the James A. Murnaghan Curator of Renaissance and Baroque Art at the Walters. Students will examine how collections of art and cultural artifacts were created, interpreted and represented to the wider world during the pre-modern era. Their research will culminate in an interactive, digital display to accompany the Hall of Wonders permanent exhibition at the Walters Art Museum.