University of Kansas: Sustainability
One of the primary goals of the Creative Campus project was to stimulate a dialogue on the KU campus over the nature of creativity, its origins, and the importance of discussion and collaboration between all areas of academia. Central to these aims was to prompt all those participating—whether as performers, speakers, thinkers, or audience members—to contemplate how they could engage in ongoing creative practices at the University and surrounding community.
Because the project’s theme and components were decided collectively and through dialogue, Creative Campus became a work that was not dominated solely by artists, but created with voices from across the University. This policy of cooperation and collective thinking reinforced the initiative’s goal of an open and positive cross-campus partnership. The type of long-term residency provided by campus resources is a model for cross-collaborative projects that will sustain KU as a creative campus. The Lied Center has already begun developing strategies to continue to engage more directly with its current artists through faculty research and activities across campus.
The engendering of creative thought in students was a significant impact of the Creative Campus initiative with long-term implications. The Lied Center has begun development of strategies to involve the student body more directly in its planning and implementation by reorganizing a student marketing group into the Lied Center Student Association, and by opening up membership in the group to the entire student body.
Having successfully managed the project and witnessed the benefits of increased cross-campus partnerships, the Lied Center and the University are committed to examining ways to continue the important dialogue between the arts and sciences. Nearly all participants voiced their commitment to continuing the kinds of collaboration seen in the Creative Campus project. The increased networking and interaction between KU departments and research centers throughout the two-year period has opened a path for continued dialogue and partnership across the University. Many of the individuals involved have expressed interest in collaborating through team-taught and interdisciplinary courses, and in incorporating the dialogue between the arts and sciences into courses of various academic areas.
The kinds of projects involved in the Creative Campus initiative continue to have the support of top officials at the University. In the future, the Lied Center hopes to collaborate with scientists from both the University and beyond in new artistic works, including a potential arts and sciences festival and other similar programming options. The administration—currently in a period of transition with a new chancellor, provost, and others—will be given a full report on the project and the importance of continuing the positive impacts it initiated.