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July 25, 2007

Arts grants bring filmmaker Herzog, play 'Miracle in Rwanda' to Stanford

A play based on the experiences of Immaculée Ilibagiza, who survived the Rwandan genocide by hiding for 91 days with seven other Tutsi women in a tiny bathroom, will come to Stanford in November, thanks to a grant from the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA).

The $20,000 grant to bring Miracle in Rwanda for a four-night run is part of SICA's $160,000 pilot fund for arts programs and events in 2007-08.

The one-woman play, performed and created by American actress Leslie Lewis Sword, will be the pilot project of "Stages in Reconciliation," a coalition of Stanford faculty members who, according to drama and classics Professor Rush Rehm, will consider "issues of moral judgment, ethical choice and historical memory in the hope that art can forge a more promising future by opening a dialogue across disciplines and cultures." If the pilot proves successful, the group will pursue future performances and forums on issues of reconciliation, forgiveness and justice.

Thanks to another SICA grant, visionary filmmaker Werner Herzog will visit Stanford in 2008 for a series of public screenings, discussions and classes. SICA awarded a $9,000 grant to art and art history Professors Jan Krawitz and Kris Samuelson in the Film and Media Studies Program to fund the visit. Herzog will give public lectures in conjunction with two film screenings. He also will teach a class for undergraduates who are interested in film and a master class for graduate students in the MFA program in documentary film and video.

With the grants, SICA hopes to encourage Stanford faculty and academic staff to bring creativity and the arts more fully into the life of the campus with innovative arts programming. SICA seeks proposals that integrate arts events with courses, seminars, exhibitions, public symposia and other scholarly activities. Proposals were submitted for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years.

Following are names and descriptions of other projects awarded SICA grants:

The Pediatric Upper Limb Motion Instrument offers real-time audio and musical feedback of upper limb motion. The aim of the project, which received a $10,000 grant, is to facilitate motor learning and improve upper-limb function in children with neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy. An artistic performance of the musical representation of upper-limb biomechanics and a demonstration of its clinical applications are scheduled to be presented during spring quarter 2008.

The Study of Historical Recordings and Creative Avenues in Music Performance and Scholarship received a $25,000 grant. A collaboration between Stanford's Archive for Recorded Sound and the Department of Music, the project brings together musicologists, performance faculty and archivists to create a Stanford course in the emerging field of historical music recordings.

Artist-in-residence Robert Moses and linguistics Professor John Rickford received a $25,000 grant to develop a new work commissioned for 2007-08 by Lively Arts for the Robert Moses' Kin Dance Company. The new dance, titled Jokes Like That Can Get You Killed, will focus on public notions of community, race, language, culture and performance.

A Humanities Center-affiliated series on arts criticism, art practice and humanistic knowledge will bring critics from newspapers and magazines to campus for dialogues with art practitioners, humanistic scholars and students interested in the arts. The $25,000 grant will allow faculty, staff and students the chance to interact intensively with some of the best contemporary art critics and bring the craft of art criticism into the discussion of the arts at Stanford.

With a $10,000 grant, the Creative Writers Studio will make visiting Stegner Fellows available to undergraduates across disciplines for guidance and mentoring in creative writing. Four Stegner Fellows will be available each Friday of the fall, winter and spring quarters during the two-year program.

With a $9,850 grant, "Red Rover," a spring-quarter dance event, will include five new dances created for and performed at five outdoor sites on the Stanford campus. The pieces will be commissioned from five Stanford alumni choreographers.

Wet Ink Music Composition Collective, also known as the Composer's Club, is a community of undergraduate composers under the guidance of music Assistant Professor Mark Applebaum. An $8,500 grant will help fund a concert of original music during the fall quarter at the Cantor Arts Center; a distinguished guest quartet to perform pieces composed during the annual winter quarter undergraduate composition seminar; and six meals that bring together guest composers, alumni, faculty and students to discuss composition.

The Institute for Diversity in the Arts' "Meet the Artist" winter-quarter lecture series will be expanded to allow year-round encounters with significant artists and their work. With a $10,000 grant, the institute will reinstate meals and receptions into events to provide more opportunities for students to interact with the artists.

EAST House, the East Asian studies theme house, with a $2,000 grant will host the Parijat Desai Dance Company at Reunion Homecoming. Desai, a Stanford alumna, blends Bharatanatyam, martial arts, modern dance and yoga in her choreographic works.

With a $1,000 grant, the Stanford Storytelling Project will bring the creative work of students and fellows to a broader audience. With a weekly one-hour radio show on KZSU and a podcast on Stanford on iTunes U, the Storytelling Project will air stories as well as interviews of the authors discussing their work.

With a $4,050 grant, the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery will bring participating artists from Bay Area institutions, such as the California College of the Arts, San Francisco Art Institute, Mills College and the University of California-Berkeley, to the Stanford campus for a sculptural exhibition in fall 2008.

For more information about SICA grants, visit



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

Caroline O'Connor, School of Humanities and Sciences: (650) 725-9680

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