Vassar awarded $750,000 Mellon Foundation grant to enhance the role of the creative arts across the curriculum

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Vassar College a $750,000 grant for a multi-year initiative entitled “The Creative Arts Across Disciplines” to enhance integration of the creative arts across the college curriculum.

This initiative builds on the college’s Mellon-supported “Visiting Artists at Vassar” pilot project of 2010-11. That project featured residencies by a playwright and a visual artist working with non-arts departments and programs such as women’s studies, education and political science. Thousands of people from the campus and Poughkeepsie communities became involved as well through outreach activities, performances and a memorable installation of white flags representing all the member states of the U.N. suspended from cables on the college chapel lawn.

The new effort, “Creative Arts Across Disciplines” will utilize artist residencies as well, but will also feature thematic programming, faculty and curricular development initiatives and student creative projects to accomplish these goals:

•    enhance the impact of curricular tie-ins of visiting artist programs

•    broaden collaboration within the arts, as well as between arts and other disciplines

•    foster opportunities for boundary-crossing artistic inquiry and creation

•    deepen the engagement of Vassar students across the curriculum with methods and ideas from the arts

The grant will run from 2014-2017 and each year will focus on a particular theme. The annual themes will provide a framework for developing visiting artist programs, guest lectures and curricular initiatives. Funding will also support student summer collaborative arts projects with faculty mentors.

“This grant presents an exciting opportunity for us to reinforce the integral role of the creative arts among the liberal arts,” said Jonathan Chenette, dean of the faculty.

Vassar is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, February 7, 2014