Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Dartmouth: Grants allow students to pursue new projects

Shared from The Dartmouth:
Last week, the Year of the Arts steering committee, in collaboration with the Dartmouth Centers Forum, announced the nine students who will receive funding for art proposals this term.

Throughout the year, the forum has encouraged students to submit arts proposals to receive up to $4,000 in grant funding. This term, the center received a record high 26 applications, said Jeff James, co-chair of the Year of the Arts steering committee.

"It's really exciting the degree of creativity that comes flooding in the door when you invite it," James said.

Eric Ramsey, director of the Collis Center for Student Involvement and committee member described the selection process of selecting proposals to fund as both "challenging and exciting," noting it was difficult to balance the limited amount of funds with the "tremendous" response from students.

"Great effort was expended to make sure that it was a diverse set of proposals, while still hopefully reaching the widest possible audience," he said.

The projects cover a wide range of art forms, including dance, opera and theatrical performance.

Anna Winham '14, a member of the Soul Scribes, received funding for "SlamD," a poetry slam scheduled for later this term. Winham said small student groups often attend slam events at other schools, but said that it was an experience most Dartmouth students have not had.

"A lot of times I feel as though we are such a small part of the poetry community because we're so isolated from other people doing slam poetry," Winham said. "Bringing people here will be really cool because it will help to create a larger community and also expose other Dartmouth students to what it is."

Jaymes Sanchez '13, a co-president of the Displaced Theater Company, noted that the company's productions tend to be relatively minimalist and focus primarily on the actors and the words of each play. The funding will provide him with the chance to work on a larger, more challenging scale, he said.

"Given that this is my last term here, I thought I'd try something really ambitious and difficult as my last project," Sanchez said.

Sanchez is planning a production of Shakespeare's "Othello." Funding will cover the costumes, props and lighting that he will now be able to incorporate into the production, he said. Although he would have pursued the production regardless of the grant, the program's support was reassuring.

"I'm glad that the Year of the Arts committee thought it was important enough to give funding to," Sanchez said. "I think that it's important and worthwhile, so the fact that they support me in that is really encouraging. It makes me all the more dedicated to making this show as much as I know it can be."

The funded projects also include other genres of art. Callista Womick '13 received funding for "Campus Yarnbombing," a venture for students to participate in knitting and crocheting projects across campus.

James said the Year of the Arts initiative has provided a platform to tell the story of the arts at Dartmouth. Ramsey echoed this sentiment, adding that the focus is to capitalize on the "wonderful" artistic elements that Dartmouth already has.

"There's such tremendous programming on campus and some really innovative and great ideas," Ramsey said.

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