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The Arts in Mind (AIM) Project

Arts in MindA Didactic Collaboration Between the Fine-Arts and the Humanities & Sciences

Overall Goal

The goal of the Arts in Mind (AIM) Project is to enhance and enrich the educational experience at the UR by integrating the fine arts into relevant aspects of programmatic and curricular humanities and sciences. This endeavor focuses upon synergies between academic topics within existing programs and topically related performances across art modalities, achieved through collaborations between local and visiting artists and academicians, as well as professional arts institutions in the Rochester community.

Motivation

National attention has focused on STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at all levels of education - a venerable path given lagging measures on the international stage. However, we must also develop good citizens and stewards capable of maintaining a free democratic society and an inclusive world view. This requires that all students, understand who we are, from where we came, and how we can thrive in the future. One binding element is the fine arts, here represented by the performing arts (music, drama, dance), and the visual and media arts (painting, sculpture, film/video, photography). The fine arts serve as provocateurs, critics, and creative reflections of humanity as well as defining elements of culture. They remain universally relevant across disciplines. A fascinating calibration on the role of the arts is their pan-cultural and primordial history over at least 100,000 years of hominid evolution. The arts are uniquely human, and indeed, define us.

The Rochester community provides an excellent cultural ecology that favors the fine arts. This is evident by the strength of arts education at all levels, as well as outstanding professional institutions for presenting and promoting the arts. Engagement in the arts is also apparent at the UR, and this overall ecology is attractive to many students regardless of career goals. These elements provide fertile ground for a cohesive and collaborative program that binds institutions and missions with the arts among their core values.