Arts at the Lewis center
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Launching a new era for the arts at Princeton University, President Shirley M. Tilghman unveiled an ambitious initiative that includes plans for substantially increased support for creative and performing arts and the establishment of an "arts neighborhood" on campus.

In a report presented to the University's Board of Trustees on Jan. 20, 2006, Tilghman said this initiative will be an opportunity for Princeton "not only to expand its programs in the creative and performing arts, but to establish itself as a global leader in the quality of its offerings and in their integration into a broader liberal arts education."

Tilghman notes in her report that Princeton "fully embraces the creative and performing arts as an essential part of its educational mission" and recognizes that "universities have increasingly become important patrons of the arts … where new ideas and forms of expression can flourish." She points out that "by participating in the arts, our students develop cognitive abilities and forms of intelligence that complement training in other disciplines, and in some cases they discover talents and interests that will shape their careers and principal avocations."

Following the Jan. 20 trustee meetings, President Tilghman announced that Peter B. Lewis, a 1955 graduate and trustee of Princeton University, will contribute $101 million to support this far-reaching initiative.

  • Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.
  • Create a new interdisciplinary Society of Fellows in the Arts.
  • Expand the size, resources and visibility of Princeton's existing undergraduate certificate programs in creative writing, musical performance, theater and dance, and visual arts.
  • Establish a scholarly research program, as a joint venture between the new center and the Council of the Humanities.
  • Provide additional physical space to house the new and expanded programs. An "arts neighborhood" would be created that the report anticipates would "become a magnet for Princeton students, faculty and staff interested in the arts and an important new point of contact for the campus, the surrounding community and the outside world."
  • Establish a fund to provide additional financial support for extracurricular activity in the arts.

The initiative will promote further integration of the arts and scholarly pursuits. For Anthony Roth Costanzo's senior thesis, nine academic departments and other campus offices contributed to his musical production. Above, Roth and his thesis adviser Wendy Heller, associate professor of music, look over some sketches of baroque costumes designed for him by noted film director James Ivory.

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