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News Release

May 26, 2009


Cynthia Haven, News Service: (650) 724-6184,

Megan Miller, SiCa: (650) 924-0146,

New grants promote arts at Stanford

The Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa) has awarded 18 grants for its 2009-10 grant competition.

Thirteen grants support arts events and programming. These grants support proposals that integrate the arts into curricular or scholarly activities, combine individual events with long-term sustainable projects and bridge schools and disciplines. Seed money will support conferences, lecture series, performances, exhibits, film festivals and screenings, and radio programming.

Five grants support curricular innovation in the arts, encouraging course innovation by supporting faculty efforts to integrate the arts into teaching. The program supports guest artist honoraria, field trips, symposia, conference and event production costs, travel, equipment and technical expenses.

The following projects received SiCa grants:

Arts events and programming

Afro-Latin Music Clinical and Cultural Outreach Program. The program will enhance Stanford's presence in the field of Afro-Latin jazz through campus-wide seminars, opportunities for students to study and perform with experts in the field and performance opportunities at off-campus jazz festivals and concert series. Awarded to Murray Low, Music.

A Podcast Tour of Campus Flora and Fauna: Combining the Sciences, the Arts and Communing with Nature. The project will unite the sciences and the arts through a podcast tour. The tour will highlight interesting species on campus, describe how they have been represented in the visual arts and discuss Stanford studies that have revealed aspects of their behavior, ecology or sustainability. Awarded to Darryl Wheye and Donald Kennedy, Biology; Katherine Preston, Human Biology; and Paul Ehrlich, Center for Conservation Biology.

The Origin Cycle. The sesquicentennial of the Origin of Species publication and the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth are celebrated with this cycle of six recently commissioned compositions setting selections from the Origin of Species to music. The event includes a public seminar/discussion on Darwin's cultural importance, scientific creativity and intellectual legacy. Awarded to R. Lanier Anderson, Philosophy; Carol Boggs, Human Biology; and Elizabeth Hadly, Biology.

Trans-Poetic Exchange: Around "Blanco" and Campos de Paz Colloquium. A two-day art event and colloquium on the poetic and intellectual worlds of Octavio Paz (1914-1998) and Haroldo de Campos (1929-2003). The event includes video poems, poetry readings, scholarly debates and colloquia with internationally renowned poets and scholars from Brazil, Catalonia, Japan and the United States. Awarded to Marilia Librandi Rocha and Joan Ramon Resina, Iberian and Latin American Cultures; and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, French and Italian Literature.

Product Realization Lab & Sculpture: Theo Jansen and an Interdisciplinary Workshops Program. The Product Realization Lab, Mechanical Engineering Design and the Art and Art History Department will present an interdisciplinary workshop series next spring that promotes exchange of ideas between the Mechanical Engineering and Art departments. To strengthen cross-program learning, Dutch sculpture artist Theo Jansen will work with students in both departments. Awarded to Jennifer Rahn and David Beach, Product Realization Lab/Mechanical Engineering; and Terry Berlier, Art and Art History.

The Cinderella Theory: New Families—Constructed Identities. Research, process and production over the course of three quarters will generate new perspectives on the intersection of identity formation within the non-homogenous family. The project includes an autumn quarter seminar featuring guest speakers on topics of constructed families and identity formation, three separate dance works, student choreography projects and a film project in conjunction with the Committee on Black Performing Arts Reel Black Film Festival. Awarded to Robert Moses and Diane Frank, Dance Division.

Performing the Troubadours: Visit of the Troubadours Art Ensemble. The visit of the Troubadours Art Ensemble will present the art of the troubadours as live performance. Colloquia, seminars and events will offer the rich aural and verbal texture of the medieval world, contributing to scholars' discussion of literary versus musical interpretations of premodern texts and sparking student interest in medieval culture. Awarded to Marissa Galvez, French and Italian Literature.

Stanford Multimedia Showcase. Leaders in creative fields of film, visual media, sound recording, comedy writing and multimedia presentation will connect with Stanford students in a series of real-time workshops through video-conferencing. These ongoing encounters with professional artists will lay the groundwork for a subsequent program of student symposia, public readings, performances and artistic showcases. Awarded to Alyssa O'Brien and Andrea Lunsford, Program in Writing and Rhetoric.

Stanford Storytelling Project. The Stanford Storytelling Project, started in 2007 with the goal of promoting and discussing the craft of storytelling across genres, explores the theme "Awakening" in its 2009-10 program. The program will feature oral histories, memoirs, tales and dramas, and will bring stories of spiritual, intellectual, creative and vocational awakening to the Stanford community and beyond with a weekly radio show and audio-video podcast on iTunes. Awarded to Jonah Willihnganz, Creative Writing Program.

Tracing the Past, Initiating the Future: An International Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Historical, Cultural and Theoretical Reconstructions of 20th-Century China. In conjunction with the special loan exhibition titled "Tracing the Past, Initiating the Future: Master Ink Painters in 20th-Century China," the Cantor Center for Visual Arts and the Center for East Asian Studies will organize an international conference for the interdisciplinary exploration of the upheaval in 20th-century China. Awarded to Xiaoneng Yang, East Asian Studies/Cantor Arts Center; Jindong Cai, Music; and Richard Vinograd, Art and Art History.

"Mad" Orlando and His Legacy. A conference, "Mad Orlando and His Legacy," will explore Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso across five centuries in a widely diverse range of media. The conference will invite a group of distinguished scholars, performers and critics to reflect on issues relevant to Ariosto's "longue durée" in the European cultural tradition. Awarded to Michael Wyatt, Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies; and Stephen Orgel, English.

Errol Morris Visit. The Department of Art and Art History plans to bring the preeminent American documentary filmmaker to campus in fall quarter. Morris' visit will include two evening screenings followed by discussion. Morris will participate in a class for undergraduates and a master class for graduate students in the MFA program in documentary film and video. Awarded to Jamie Meltzer, Art and Art History.

Imagination on the Pacific Rim: Asian American Writers and Their Craft. The speaker series, "Imagination on the Pacific Rim," will be devoted to Asian American writers and their craft, featuring four readings by renowned authors who represent a range of genre conventions, ethnic life trajectories and socio-historical contexts. Awarded to Steven Hong Sohn, Asian American Studies.

Curricular innovation in the arts

Advanced Modern Dance Technique. This fall, noted dance musician Judith Rosenberg will join Dance 141: Advanced Modern Dance, to work collaboratively with faculty member Diane Frank. This project will invite collaboration with Music Department faculty and students. Awarded to Diane Frank, Dance Division.

Design for Exploration. In Art Studio 262: Design for Exploration, five out of 10 classes will be held at the Exploratorium to study prototyping workshops, exhibit interaction, observation of exhibit use, installation of prototype exhibits in use and project critiques. Awarded to John Edmark, Art and Art History.

The Graphic Novel. English 190G: The Graphic Novel brings together students from a variety of backgrounds in the creation of a full-length graphic novel during winter quarter. In 2010, the class will give students the chance to work with a professional illustrator, print and distribute their finished product, take a field trip to ComiCon in San Francisco, benefit from visiting graphic novelists, host a campus colloquium and create a website documenting their process. Awarded to Tom Kealey, Creative Writing Program.

Devising Otherness in Uganda and America: Creating a Theatrical Performance Based on Identity. In late summer 2009, drama Professor Michael Ramsaur will create a collaborative performance project between Stanford and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, as part of a Bing Overseas Studies Seminar. The performance will focus around the questions, "What do Americans think about Africa and Africans? What do Africans think about America and Americans?" The final work will be performed at both Stanford and Makerere. Awarded to Michael Ramsaur, Drama.

Gender and Sexuality in Asian American Literature. Visiting writers will appear in "creative-critical" dialogue for two courses in Asian American studies to engage with students in discussions of gender and sexuality, race and regionalism and Asian American culture. Awarded to Stephen Hong Sohn, Asian American Studies.

SiCa, established in 2006 as part of the Arts Initiative, develops new undergraduate arts programs, hosts artists-in-residence and awards grants for multidisciplinary arts research and teaching. It incubates collaborative performances and exhibitions with campus partners and other institutions.

Visit the SiCa website at


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