The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded multi-year initiative The Arts and the Common Good seeks to illustrate the various ways in which the arts – in concert and dialogue with other areas of exploration and knowledge – help us understand what the common good is (and what it is not), how we can achieve this good, and what we must do to strengthen, expand, and sustain it. By bringing faculty and students in our art, art history, theatre and dance, and music departments into regular and more intentional conversations with their colleagues in the humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences, the initiative will help the College establish an academic and campus culture in which the arts are embraced as a necessary and useful vehicle for understanding, learning, and analyzing issues and for making creative connections between and among different areas of knowledge.
Each year the Mellon grant will bring an Artist-in-Residence to campus to teach, organize special events, and create work especially for Drew. In addition, a portion of each year’s programming will be related to a theme connected to “the arts and the common good.” The 2015-16 Andrew W. Mellon Artist-in-Residence is Kyle deCamp. The 2014-15 Andrew W. Mellon Artist-in-Residence was Valerie Hegarty. Special programming for the year considered the theme “In Your Space: ‘Locating’ the Common Good at Drew” by exploring, among other topics, public art and the environment, landscape art and colonization, and the political activation of interior space through artistic intervention.
The ongoing grant initiatives listed below are designed to engage faculty and students in disciplines outside of the arts with this endeavor and promote interdisciplinary exploration of the arts and the common good.
- short and long term visiting artists to present work, teach with faculty outside of the arts, and implement special projects with students and faculty (see Artist-in-Residence and Projects pages)
- public lectures, symposia, and special events (see Events page)
- mini-grants for faculty and students to aid exploration of “the arts and the common good” across the curriculum (see Grants pages)
- course development grants for faculty to plan interdisciplinary classes related to grant themes (see Grants for Faculty page)
- faculty-mentored student research (see Grants for Students page)