Arts and Humanities Salons
A series of Arts and Humanities salons was launched this past year to bring faculty from the two recently conjoined Colleges together to explore possibilities for collaborative exchange. The first salon featured fifteen faculty members and administrators meeting at the Urban Arts Space downtown; the second convened a dozen former chairs at the Institute to gather wisdom about overcoming obstacles to collaboration.
Working with the OSU Arts Initiative, the Institute has begun examining models for a Creative Campus/One Creative University project at OSU. Supported by a Critical Exchange grant from Imagining America ($1,000), two faculty, one staff member and one graduate student traveled to the University of Alabama in April 2008 to study the Creative Campus program there; in November 2008, a delegation from Tuscaloosa studying arts and economic development initiatives was hosted in Columbus. A follow-up discussion on creativity at OSU in January 2009 drew in twenty participants from across the campus.
In an effort to link the Institute with the Arts Alliance and area cultural agencies, a collaboration involving them and other groups to host lectures/presentations by eminent thinkers on public space is being developed. Going Public would offer a series of lectures, colloquia and workshops aimed at enhancing the public dimensions of graduate education at OSU. Raising questions about what it means to work in a public university/sphere/sector today, this series will expose graduate students to skills, strategies and opportunities for engaging with constituencies and institutions beyond the academic environment. Partnerships have been dveloped or are being sought with the OSU Graduate School, collaboration with John Glenn School and the College of Arts, building connections with OHS, OHC, national networks like Imagining America and PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Education).
Ways of Knowing Water
Ways of Knowing Water is an ongoing collaboration between the Institute, the College of Arts and Sciences and OSU Extension. The project draws on the arts and humanities to connect residents of central Ohio more closely to their local watersheds, and to develop innovative modes of enhancing environmental awareness. Ways of Knowing Water aims to engage the broader OSU community in a conversation about environmental citizenship, at the university and at large: what are we doing to address global climate change and other environmental challenges? This initiative has led to an ongoing partnership with COSI around a project to tell the story of the Scioto River, as well as discussions with the Dublin Arts Council, the Friends of Alum Creek and Tributaries (FACT) and FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed) about opportunities for extending and developing Ways of Knowing Water locally and statewide.