Campus News

January 26, 2011

Arts Blueprint is guide for the future

How big of a role do the arts play at Emory?

How do we communicate the richness of the Emory arts scene across the breadth of the University’s schools, units and divisions?

How do we strengthen and leverage these assets so that we continue the creative evolution of the arts?

These are some of the questions that a group, led by Rosemary Magee, vice president and secretary of the University, and Leslie Taylor, executive director of the Emory College Center for Creativity and Arts, grappled with over the last 18 months.

Documenting scholarly and artistic work at Emory, the findings, including goals and strategies, have been compiled in an “Arts Blueprint” to guide the Emory community for planning and dreaming in the years ahead.

Download the Arts Blueprint report. (PDF)

The numbers tell part of the story. According to 2009-2010 estimates:

• 100,000 attended Emory arts performances and events, making the arts second only to Emory’s health care operations for bringing people to the campus.

• 72,000 visited the Carlos Museum galleries. 

• 10,000 students took in 185 College-based arts events.

• 35 percent of seniors indicated on the 2010 Emory College Senior Survey they had been involved in the performing arts, which compares favorably to the percentage of students who participated in study-abroad (41 percent) and intramural athletics (44 percent).

 “The report rests on the belief that access to the arts leads to the kinds of transformational thinking called for in a new era of being and living in the world,” says Magee. “We recognize that increased opportunities for such access require an imaginative spirit, collaborative energies and general goodwill.”

One of the goals to leverage that access is an increased awareness throughout the University. “So much of the artistic energy at Emory is directed toward organizing, collecting, collaborating and performing,” says Taylor. “By communicating the depth and breadth of the arts scene with those in Admissions, Campus Life, Communications, Development and other areas of the University, we believe we can take engagement to the next level.”

The idea for an arts blueprint originated in the Arts Council of Emory, a discussion forum for those interested in the arts on campus.

 In spring 2009, the Council recommended to President Jim Wagner, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the Dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences the commissioning of a blueprint for the arts, a process that involved active consultation with faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Members of the Arts Council, Center for Creativity & Arts, and Creativity: Art and Innovation facilitated the process, and all members of the Emory community were invited to participate.

The comprehensive process resulted in an in-depth look of current  arts programming and events, as well as  insight into the values and achievements of the arts at Emory today, and a shared vision for the future.

Wagner believes the process has re-invigorated conversations about the arts and arts literacy on campus. “Arts literacy helps people live more fully and expand their capacity for richer personal interactions throughout their lives. We should be doing everything we can to encourage greater arts engagement in our community,” he noted.

Strengthening multidisciplinary collaborations across the University and generating new ones align well with Emory College Dean Robin Forman’s vision.

 "Art is driven by curiosity, imagination, and a search for beauty—a similar creative approach to what we find in the sciences. Any opportunity we can find to bring the arts and sciences closer together will prove beneficial to everyone," Forman says.

Magee and Taylor say they are encouraged by the feedback they’ve received from people across campus. “There is a greater recognition today of a need for empathetic understanding and civil discourse in everything we do—business, medicine, politics, education,” says Magee. “Because the arts provide a pathway to life’s deeper questions, they strengthen all of our endeavors.”

The Arts Blueprint Group invites the Emory community to read the report and provide insights and feedback.

File Options

  • Print Icon Print