Dartmouth Announces Year of the Arts

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A slate of special artistic programs and initiatives during the 2012-13 academic year will shine a spotlight on Dartmouth’s vibrant arts culture and reaffirm the institution’s role as one of the nation’s leading academic arts communities as the Year of the Arts gets underway.

Year of the Arts

A diverse series of arts programs and initiatives will take place at Dartmouth during the 2012-13 academic year.

This celebration of the arts will begin in September, with the inauguration of Dartmouth’s new Arts District, comprising of the Black Family Visual Arts Center, as well as the Hood Museum of Art, and the Hopkins Center for the Arts (the Hop), both of which are planning expansions and renovations.

The year will also be distinguished by an unprecedented development of arts-related programming by campus organizations and departments not normally affiliated with the arts, underscoring the importance of the arts to our everyday lives.

“Dartmouth’s historic investments in the arts have long been a model for college campuses across the country, and we’re extremely pleased to be renewing and deepening this commitment to the arts in the coming year,” said provost and incoming interim president Carol Folt. “The major artistic milestones that will take place throughout the 2012-13 year will have a lasting impact that extends throughout and beyond the campus.”

“The coming year will showcase the high caliber and interdisciplinary focus of the arts at Dartmouth,” said Dartmouth associate provost for international initiatives and incoming interim vice provost Lindsay Whaley. “This confluence of exciting milestones has inspired us to establish 2012-13 as a Year of the Arts, during which Dartmouth will affirm and celebrate the continuing vitality of our arts programs with an exceptional roster of initiatives that will establish a new 21st-century model for the integration of arts on campus.”

The next year will include notable arts programming, including:

  • The Hop’s 50th Anniversary Season, with performances by Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, John Lithgow, and a number of other acclaimed artists
  • A major exhibition of Aboriginal Australian art at the Hood, spanning more than five decades of creativity
  • Installations of major new works of art around campus, including site-specific commissions by Ellsworth Kelly and Ross Ashton, and a temporary installation of one of Louise Bourgeois’ iconic spider sculptures
  • Numerous academic programs uniting the arts with other disciplines, including more than a dozen interdisciplinary courses and a groundbreaking collaboration between the music and neuroscience departments
  • The premiere of a work by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, supported by commissioning funds from the Hop, which will debut in New York City before arriving in Hanover in March
  • Campus residencies with notable artists, including the Tony-winning Handspring Puppet Company
  • Festival of Film Festivals, an unprecedented yearlong screening series of recent highlights from some of the world’s leading film festivals
  • The in-progress presentation of a new Hop-commissioned opera by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and composer Phil Kline

Dartmouth has long been a leading institution championing the integration of the arts into a collegiate setting: from the establishment of one of the nation’s first campus-based performing arts centers, to the commissioning of new works and artist-in-residence programs, to the cultivation of a university art collection that ranks among the oldest and largest in the United States. The diverse series of arts programs and initiatives taking place during the next year—including programs developed by departments and campus organizations that traditionally operate outside the arts—exemplifies this historic commitment to leadership in the arts, while simultaneously establishing Dartmouth as a model for the artistic campus of the 21st century.

Highlights from Dartmouth’s year of artistic programming include the following:

  • Yo-Yo Ma performance (September 13, 2012): The inaugural performance of the Hopkins Center’s 50th Anniversary Season will be an evening of unaccompanied cello performance by Yo-Yo Ma, one of the world’s most acclaimed musical talents and the winner of 16 Grammys among countless other awards.
  • Crossing Cultures at the Hood Museum (September 15, 2012-March 10, 2013): The Hood Museum’s groundbreaking fall/winter exhibition explores five decades of Aboriginal Australian art, comprising the work of more than 100 artists from outback communities to major metropolitan centers. Featuring more than 100 works from the world-class collection of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner—which was endowed to the Hood Museum in 2009 and 2011—Crossing Cultures will present the many art-making practices of Aboriginal people, including acrylic painting on canvas, ochre painting on bark, sculpture, weaving, and photography.
  • Handspring Puppet Company campus residency and performance (September 21-22, 2012): Culminating a weeklong residency on campus through Dartmouth’s Montgomery Fellows program, the puppetry innovators behind the Tony-winning War Horse will present at the Hop a two-day performance of Woyzeck on the Highveld, their landmark collaboration with visual artist William Kentridge, which transposes a darkly poetic 19th-century German play to the mine-scarred landscape of 1950s South Africa.
  • John Lithgow: Stories by Heart (October 13, 2012): The keynote event of the Hopkins Center’s 50th Anniversary weekend is a performance by Tony- and Emmy-winning actor John Lithgow, which explores the power of stories in a funny, touching, one-man show that has received massive acclaim in venues ranging from New York’s Lincoln Center to London’s National Theatre.
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), with Wynton Marsalis (January 24, 2012): Led by legendary trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, JLCO will bring to the Hopkins Center an evening of world-class jazz. In keeping with the Hop’s special emphasis on artistic mentorship during the 50th Anniversary Season, the program will feature the acclaimed young tap dancer and Marsalis protégé Jared Grimes.
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 1-2, 2013): A defining force in American dance for 55 years, the Ailey company will be performing a program at the Hopkins Center that includes a new work, created with commissioning funds from the Hop, that innovatively fuses the many dynamic facets of American dance, from ballet to hip hop, and showcases the artistry and versatility of the Ailey dancers.
  • Tesla: An Opera by Jim Jarmusch & Phil Kline (April 5-6, 2013): A Hop-commissioned collaboration between American film auteur Jim Jarmusch and composer Phil Kline, Tesla is a work-in-progress “modern baroque opera” that explores the life of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), one of history’s most remarkable and enigmatic scientists.
  • Public Art Installations (Ongoing): Reaffirming its longstanding tradition of enriching its campus landscape with publicly accessible art installations, Dartmouth will install several works by internationally established artists in the newly created Arts District, including a commissioned wall sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly; a commissioned site-specific video projection, encompassing both archival and crowd-sourced images, by Ross Ashton; and a temporary installation of one of the iconic spider sculptures of Louise Bourgeois.
  • Festival of Film Festivals (Ongoing): Building on the perennial popularity of its Telluride at Dartmouth series—which screens a curated selection of films from the Telluride Film Festival each year—the Hopkins Center Film Department will supplement its regular programming with a yearlong series of screenings that comprise the best of the international film festival circuit. The Festival of Film Festivals will include recent entries from a diverse range of events, ranging from high-powered industry galas like the New York Film Festival to boutique regional festivals in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
  • Cross-Disciplinary Arts Programs (Ongoing): As part of Dartmouth’s campus-wide focus on the arts in 2012-13, academic departments including mathematics, engineering, and neuroscience will integrate arts activities into their regular programming to an unprecedented degree, with more than a dozen new interdisciplinary courses offered. In addition, a groundbreaking collaboration between Dartmouth’s music and neuroscience departments will enable students to generate sounds and images based on brain activity. Other cross-disciplinary collaborations include the residency of notable artists on campus through the Montgomery Fellows Program; and the sponsorship by the Dickey Center for International Understanding of a speech by an international arts luminary.

The diverse roster of artistic programming in the 2012-13 year will be accompanied by landmark investments in new facilities and infrastructure to support deeper engagement with the arts. The newly formed Arts District on the campus’ southern border encompasses the school’s new and expanding arts facilities, which include:

  • The Hood Museum of Art: The inauguration of the Hood Museum’s Centerbrook Architect-designed facilities in 1985 provided a permanent home for Dartmouth’s world-class encyclopedic art collection, which dates to 1772 and currently includes approximately 70,000 works. As part of Dartmouth’s renewed investments in the arts during the 2012-13 year, the Hood has announced plans for a dramatic expansion and renovation of its current facilities, to be designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.
  • The Hopkins Center for the Arts: Widely acknowledged as the top performing arts center north of Boston, the Hopkins Center for the Arts first opened its doors in 1962, at a time when campus-based performing arts centers were still an emerging phenomenon. Designed by Wallace Harrison, the Hop’s iconic exterior served as a model for Harrison’s subsequent design for the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. With the opening of its 50th Anniversary Season this fall, the Hop is preparing to announce a major new renovation and expansion that will modernize the building’s facilities to better address the evolving needs of the next generation of artists, performers, and audiences.
  • The Black Family Visual Arts Center: Opening in September 2012, the Black Family Visual Arts Center is a 105,000-square-foot facility designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates to nurture interdisciplinary innovation among students and faculty alike. The Center will feature a state-of-the-art digital humanities media laboratory, as well as a three-story atrium designed to allow for the presentation of electronic media. Reflecting the continued growth of Dartmouth’s nationally renowned arts departments, the Center will also include new classrooms, faculty offices, and spaces for creative exploration and collaboration. The Arts Center was made possible by a $48 million gift from Leon Black ’73 and his wife Debra, which will also support a site-specific commission by Ellsworth Kelly that will be installed on the exterior of the Hopkins Center.