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A Society of Fellows in the Arts

One of the most inspired recommendations of the Allen Committee was its proposal to create a new interdisciplinary Society of Fellows in the Arts, which the committee envisioned as a centerpiece of arts education at Princeton. The Society’s Fellows would be innovative and early-career artist/scholars who would teach courses, maintain studios, give or organize performances or exhibitions (where appropriate), and participate in seminars, conferences, and other on-campus collaborations. Their presence would expose Princeton to lively cross-currents from the world of the creative and performing arts, and their energy would enable the scholarly and educational projects in the arts at Princeton to achieve critical mass. Not only would the arts thereby enliven Princeton, but Princeton would thereby become a patron not only of the arts, but of artists, by providing fellowships that would help to sustain and support developing artists as they launch their careers.

The Allen Committee recommended the appointment of at least six fellows a year, for terms of up to two years each, from all areas of the arts pursued at Princeton. This would include writers, actors, directors, choreographers, musicians, painters, video and installation artists, and curators. The Fellows would receive a salary, an office, and access to the facilities they need to do their work. As members of the University Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, they would be expected to teach undergraduate courses as well as to participate in the core seminar/performance series of the Center.

These Fellows would contribute to every aspect of Princeton’s initiative in the creative and performing arts, but their role in Princeton’s certificate programs would be especially crucial. In rejecting the option of a graduate program in the creative and performing arts, the Allen Committee recognized that the university thereby foregoes the presence of highly committed graduate-level artists and scholars to work with and inspire our undergraduates and faculty members. The Fellows in the Arts would make the contributions to our programs that would otherwise be made by graduate students in the arts. They will be indispensable elements of the intellectual ecosystem that links students and faculty together in a community of learning.

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Composer and concert pianist Daron Hagen (left) worked with students in Princeton's Atelier program, which brings guest artists to campus to collaborate with students and faculty. Hagen and Paul Muldoon, the Howard G.B. Clark '21 University Professor in the Humanities, produced "The Antient Concert," an original chamber opera that the students directed and performed. Photo Credit: John Jameson

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