Program History

An image from the Dartmouth Creative Campus project

An image from the Dartmouth Creative Campus project

The Creative Campus initiative began following the 104th American Assembly at Columbia University, held in March 2004. The convening was supported by the Ford Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Dana Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, Pfizer and the Altria Group. More than sixty distinguished professionals, including Sandra Gibson (President & CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters), gathered for over two days to examine the factors that characterize effective partnerships in education and the arts – the projects, proposals, curricula, and creative forces that make such partnerships work.

All participants fully acknowledged that higher education and the arts make their own specific offerings to a vital and thriving culture on campus and in the surrounding community. Together they can generate imaginative and inspiring activities that benefit campuses, fortify artists and arts institutions, educate students, and stimulate audiences. In 2006 the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (Arts Presenters), with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), initiated The Creative Campus Innovations program to move the conclusions and recommendations drawn from the American Assembly into action. In so doing, the program endeavored to deepen the aesthetic experience and the expansion of mind and spirit through innovative partnerships between arts presenters and their colleagues based on campuses across the country.
Program Background

The Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program was established in January 2006 with an initial award of $1,500,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to support exemplary campus-based performing arts presenters to develop and implement programs and strategies beyond conventional practice that integrate their work across the academy. The program encourages collaborations between the academy (administration, faculty and students) and local community partners. In 2007 eight campuses were awarded one or two-year grants totaling $1 million to undertake innovative projects that had the potential to increase awareness of the value of and expand support for integrating the performing arts into the academy and the campus community. DDCF engaged WolfBrown to provide ongoing program evaluations and their findings helped to reshape the process for the 2008 grant program.

In 2008, Arts Presenters received a renewal grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to provide a second round of grants to selected colleges and universities under the Creative Campus Innovations Grant program (Creative Campus) for projects beginning September 1, 2010 through May 31, 2012. The changes and additions to the program include: an extended application process that includes planning grants for the second round finalists to strengthen the relationship with the artist(s), build the campus and community partnerships and more clearly articulate potential impact that will address the overall criteria of the program; additional support will be given to first year grantees to further document and assess program efforts and to mentor the new group of grantees; research and dissemination of best practices; and to expand learning communities established during the first grant period.

Program Description

The purpose of the Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program is to identify, support, and document cross-campus interdisciplinary collaborations that integrate the work of performing arts presenters in the academy and the surrounding community. Arts Presenters will award between 8 to 10 one- to two-year project grants, ranging from $100,000-$200,000 each in 2010 to college and university presenters for projects that go beyond conventional practice and perspectives, feature innovative or experimental approaches, connect with arts and non-arts constituencies, and stimulate discussion and debate. Funding support is meant to both support new initiatives and deepen existing efforts to integrate the performing arts into the academy.

Project Goals

Creative Campus Innovations projects incorporate a variety of campus-based programs and activities that integrate the work of presenters into the life of the academy and the community by working collectively with other college or university partners and community partners to maximize resources and capacities in the performing arts. Each project meets the following goals:

  • integrate the performing arts into the education, service, and scholarly missions of the academy and engage chief academic officers and executive leadership;
  • provide opportunities to deepen and expand the participation of artist(s) in the academy through long term residencies, commissions and/or other creative activities; and
  • identify, document, and share lessons learned that will contribute to an evolving knowledge base and learning community for campuses and the wider performing arts and presenting field.

For more information on Arts Presenters, please visit artspresenters.org

Background Information

Creative Campus press release

Key Campus Resources Required for a Successful Project

American Assembly Document

Nancy Cantor Keynote Address APAP Creative Connections

Inside Arts Article Creative Campus

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