Emory Report
February 4, 2008
Volume 60, Number 18

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February 4, 2008
Moving toward a ‘creative campus’

By sally corbett

Leading universities stay ahead of the creative curve today to be competitive. Centers focused on enterprise, interdisciplinary collaboration, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are opening on leading campuses worldwide.

Steven Tepper, a leader in the “creative campus movement,” comes to Emory Feb. 4 and 5 to engage the community on these topics and the state of creativity at Emory. Tepper’s free public talk and Q&A, “The Creative Campus,” is Monday, Feb. 4, 4 to 5:15 p.m. in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library.

“Imagine a day in the near future when all who visit Emory see that it’s a catalyst for creativity — inside and outside the arts, and across disciplines. Steven Tepper’s visit will set the stage for expanding our innovative programs, and crystallize ideas for new initiatives,” says Vice President and Secretary of the University Rosemary Magee, head of the Emory Creativity and Arts Initiative, which planned and sponsored Tepper’s visit.

Magee will sit down with Tepper to record the next installment in the “Creativity Conversations” series for its later release on iTunes U and the forthcoming creativity and arts Web site.

Tepper’s research has sparked new thinking about creativity, especially in higher education. He explores creativity in society, conflict over art and culture and cultural participation, including the influence of new technologies and the rising trend of “do-it-yourself creators.”

Co-editor and contributing author of “Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life,” Tepper is associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy, and assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University.

Tepper’s articles have appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Review of Policy Research, Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society and International Journal of Cultural Policy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Latin America from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; and a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. His consulting clients have included the National Humanities Center, the American Academy of Arts and Science and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.

Fittingly, this opportunity to spotlight creativity occurs during the fifth anniversary week of the Schwartz Center, the major outcome of years of creative collaboration at Emory, and during the semester when the groundwork is being laid for the new Emory College Center for Creativity and Arts through launching pilot programs for students, developing a Web site, establishing commission and project grants, cosponsoring Tepper’s public talk and more.

The inaugural executive director of the CCA, Theater Studies Chair Leslie Taylor, says, “The CCA will become a nexus and focal point for bringing together creative arts projects and innovative work across the campus. I look forward to Steven Tepper’s insights as we launch programs and partnerships.”

In addition to his talk, Tepper presents a College faculty workshop with the Center for Teaching and Curriculum on Feb. 5. He also meets with the Student Arts Council, President Jim Wagner, the CCA Executive Committee and others.

Cosponsors of the public talk include Emory’s Arts Council, Office of Community and Diversity, and Center for the Study of Public Scholarship.