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The Arts at Princeton

At Princeton University, creative and performing arts are central to the educational mission, and all students are encouraged to explore their artistic interests and talents. With the naming of the Lewis Center for the Arts in 2007, the arts opportunities for students, as well as the entire campus community, are reaching new levels of creative possibility.

The Lewis Center gives renewed focus to the Princeton Atelier, creative writing, dance, film and video, theater and the visual arts. It also enjoys close links to the Department of Music, the University Art Museum and many other academic initiatives across the curriculum that inform, and are inspired by, the arts.

In support of arts-intensive learning at Princeton is an extensive and diverse arts calendar. World-class — often premier — performances and exhibits shine the spotlight on creative expression.

Boris Godunov, scene 14
After months of inspired collaborations between Princeton scholars, students and artists, the curtain rose on the University's world premiere production of "Boris Godunov" in April 2007. The performances were the culmination of a vast creative endeavor that spanned the entire academic year and numerous departments across the University.

Throughout the academic year, the Lewis Center provides students with unique opportunities to learn directly from practicing artists through the Princeton Atelier. Further, there are a variety of fellowships that bring to campus artists, performers and arts scholars, who infuse studios, workshops and theaters with first-person experience in the arts world.

Students who want to engage with the arts can integrate their academic pursuits with artistic passions at Princeton through curricular and extracurricular programs. There are dozens of extracurricular student groups and ensembles in the arts, such as those in theater, dance and music that include the Black Arts Company, Princeton Triangle Club, Theatre Intime, Ballet Folklorico, diSiac Dance Company, Chapel Choir, the Gospel Ensemble, the Nassoons and the Princeton University Band, as well as student literary magazines, such as The Prism and the Green Light.

"Though a University's main responsibility is to its students, part of what we teach our students is that our responsibility doesn't stop at FitzRandolph Gate. Since 1970, the gate has been kept permanently open as an emblem of our availability to the wider world. That availability begins with the immediate community of Princeton itself, and we're delighted to welcome the community to join us on the great adventure we're embarking on with the development of the Lewis Center for the Arts. Though Princeton is already noted for cultural tourism, we're thrilled by the vision of the town becoming a truly significant destination for those interested in a wide range of the creative and performing arts. The development of an Arts and Transit Neighborhood in the vicinity of the McCarter Theatre will be a major step toward making that vision a reality."
Paul Muldoon, founding chair, Lewis Center for the Arts

Althea Ward Clark reading from her work
Audiences regularly fill the room to hear noted writers read from their work in the Lewis Center's Althea Ward Clark Reading Series.