Arts and Innovation Focus of ‘Campus Conversations’


President Phil Hanlon’s vision for an Arts and Innovation District involves a synergetic cluster that draws on the creative and innovative work already going on at the Hopkins Center, Black Family Visual Arts Center, Hood Museum of Art, and the new Student Innovation Center at 4 Currier Place, says Professor Adrian Randolph, associate dean of the faculty for the Arts and Humanities and the Leon E. Williams Professor of Art History.

Adrian Randolph, associate dean of the faculty for the Arts and Humanities and the Leon E. Williams Professor of Art History, answers a question during the “Campus Conversation” on April 28. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Randolph and Trip Davis ’90, executive director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, discussed ideas for an Arts and Innovation District during a “Campus Conversation” on Monday, April 28. It was the seventh in the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” conversation series, designed to give community members an opportunity to discuss ideas related to the initiatives of President Hanlon ’77, and to generate new ideas.

Davis said that the entrepreneurial piece of the new innovation center is linked to the arts by “elements based in creativity.”

The center is there to offer resources of space, expertise, networks of professionals and alumni, and to serve as a clearinghouse of resources for all manner of pursuit in disciplines across campus, Davis said.

“Engagement is our value,” he said.

Professor Esmé Thompson, chair of the studio art department, questioned the link between arts and entrepreneurship. “I’m not sure how arts got attached to business,” she said. “We do our job very effectively and don’t need students pushed into a business model prematurely.”

Davis said that entrepreneurship is not about money, “it is about passion.” He welcomed a broader conversation “from all stakeholders.”

Randolph said the Arts and Innovation project is imbued with “a robust, active commitment to the arts. It is not a threat, but an opportunity.”

The conversation was held at noon in the Hood Auditorium, with a second session that evening in Fahey lounge.

The noontime session was webcast live on the College’s YouTube channel and can be viewed on the Campus Conversations page of the president’s website. Members of the community are invited to continue the conversation through the Improve Dartmouth website.

The eighth and final session of the “Moving Dartmouth Forward: Campus Conversations” series will focus on “Global Learning Experiences.” The topic will be presented by Lynn Higgins, associate dean of the faculty for international and interdisciplinary studies; and Lindsay Whaley, interim vice provost and associate provost for international initiatives. The conversations will happen on Monday, May 12 in two sessions, the first from noon to 1 p.m. in Hood Auditorium, and the second from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Fahey lounge.

Bill Platt