2018 AiHE Spring Summit
2018 Arts in Higher Education Spring Summit
Sarah Anson, Arts in Education Coordinator and Arts Leadership Fellow 2018
Part of my responsibilities as the Arts in Education Coordinator is working with the arts across college campuses. I keep in close contact with professors, deans, provosts, and administrators from campuses across Central New York in the 6 counties that we serve, as well as reaching out to other areas like Auburn, Ithaca, Cornell, and Hamilton.
This year we started out the 2018 Spring Semester with a meeting with our Arts in Higher Education Task Force, which consisted of Travis Newton (Le Moyne College), Heather Buchman (Hamilton College), Donna Stuccio (Onondaga Community College), and Colleen Prossner (Cazenovia College), and Steve Butler (Executive Director of CNY Arts). The purpose of the Task Force is to discuss issues and trends that we are seeing on campuses with regards to metrics, student retention in the area, and careers after graduation. Twice a year the Task Force holds a Summit to bring the arts organizations, schools, and galleries together to discuss these issues, as well as brainstorm for ways that the schools can work together for the arts programing.
Our Spring Summit was held on the campus of PrattMWP on May 21st. Not only was this the first year that our Summit was hosted at Pratt, but it was also the first time that we had a Summit on a weekday. This seemed to go over well with people that attended, as we had 36 attendees from BOCES, CNY Arts, Colgate University, Cazenovia College, Hamilton College, Herkimer College, OCC, PrattMWP, Rust 2 Green Utica, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Polytechnic, Syracuse University, Utica College, Le Moyne College, and Golden Artist Colors.
After the attendees introduced themselves to the group (for some, this was their first AIHE Summit meeting!) we delve right in to an update from Travis Newton, who leads our AiHE Metrics Task Force. Travis spoke about recent surveys that were given to administrators to determine what data would be helpful is assessing the impact of the arts on college campuses.
Our keynote speaker was Prof. James Clark, from Syracuse University, who spoke about the arts role in social justice. Prof. Clark spoke about the portrait series “Americans Who Tell the Truth” by artist Robert Shetterly. Mr. Shetterly uses portraits of seemingly ordinary people who have made social impacts to tell their story. This was quite fascinating, and all who attended the Summit were interested to learn more about the series and ways that it can be incorporated not just in arts classes, but history, philosophy, theater, and social justice classes.
Heather Buchman, Chair of the Music department at Hamilton College led a facilitated discussion about the impact of silos on our college campuses, and ways that those silos can be broken down. The main concern was not only schools creating their own silos where there is no communication coming in or out, but also the concern of different programs being siloed from one another in a single school. By breaking down these silos, we can create better communication and opportunities for students to ensure their success after they graduate.
We were pleased with a wonderful turnout from such a variety of schools across our region, and everyone that attended enjoyed meeting and networking before and after our Summit. I am already working on the AiHE Fall Summit, so keep an eye on our website for information about that!