The Hopkins Center’s three-year Class Divide project was conceived as a cross-campus/community programming initiative intended to raise awareness and spark discussion about socio-economic difference in communities throughout the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. Through a series of events, performances and residencies, the Hop aimed to both heighten their campus and community visibility, and to deepen their role in the higher education community at Dartmouth College. The Class Divide project began one-year prior to receipt of two-years of funding from the Creative Campus Innovations grant program.
The Hop’s specific goals with this project were to: (a) Provide opportunities for artists, students, faculty, administrators, and community members to engage with an important topic within a largely undergraduate liberal arts institution setting; (b) Raise awareness within the organization and academic institution to issues of class; (c) Build and deepen relationships with community organizations and academic departments; (d) Model a successful role for a campus arts presenter in creating and touring new work; (e) Build new audiences.
Working on a thematic partnership proved to be a strength for the Hopkins Center; the theme, combined with the momentum of planning along a multi-year time frame, drew many partners into relationships with them. The partners contributed different perspectives on the theme, from economics to medicine to civil rights.