University of Kansas

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Tree of Life: Creativity – Origins and Evolution

Lied Center of Kansas, University of Kansas

Project Summary

The Lied Center of Kansas’ two-year project brought resident and touring artists together in the creation of a new artistic work in response to an interdisciplinary research investigation, The Tree of Life: Creativity – Origins and Evolution. Central to the creation of the artistic work was a collaborative dialogue between artists and scholars. Emphasis during the first year was placed on an interdisciplinary research dialogue, the centerpiece being a semester-long faculty colloquium. The second year’s focus was on artistic collaboration and the creation of the new work Tree of Life – Origins and Evolution which was performed at the Lied Center on April 24 and 25, 2009. A highlight of the project was the increase in campus dialogue between KU faculty from different fields, as well as expansion of Lied Center project partnerships. The project’s original goals were 1) the premier of a new performing art work, 2) a strong model for interdisciplinary research among the sciences, arts and humanities on campus, and 3) an assessment of resources necessary for sustaining a creative campus at KU.

Major funding was provided by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters through its Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. David Balakrishnan’s residency was sponsored in part by a Hall Center for the Humanities Simons Public Humanities Fellowship. The Simons Public Humanities Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of the Simons family of Lawrence, Kansas and a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. Support was also received from the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund.

Within KU, additional funding was provided by:

  • School of Fine Arts, Office of the Dean
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of the Dean
  • Kansas Space Grant Consortium
  • KU Center for Research
  • The University of Kansas, Office of the Provost
  • The University of Kansas, Office of the Chancellor

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