Arts & Culture initiative rallies interest

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Amy Sadao, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, greets prospective students during a Penn Art & Culture campus tour.

In 2012, Karen Beckman, Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Endowed Professor in Film Studies, set out to change the way students view Penn’s commitment to the arts. With regard to one of the top priorities—providing new resources for prospective students—the numbers are in. Since launching in 2012, the Arts and Culture Initiative has resulted in a 25 percent increase in applicants interested in visual arts, and a 17 percent increase in applicants interested in literature.

“We’re glad to see it,” says Dennis DeTurck, Stephen A. Levin Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, of the increase. DeTurck, who is also the Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor and Professor of Mathematics, goes on to note, “There is a lot here for students who are interested in the arts and the special admissions efforts that the Art and Culture Initiative has put in place are highlighting that.”

The initiative introduces an alternative arts-based tour of campus for prospective students, and a first-year seminar series designed to increase engagement with faculty in a small classroom setting. This September, the initiative will host “HAIKU: The Humanities and the Arts in the Integrated Knowledge University,” a two-day exploration held at the Penn Museum that will examine the role of creative practitioners in the humanities and the wider university.

“We hope very much that students and alumni will participate in this event so that we can think together about how the roles that art and culture might play in the evolving research university,” says Beckman.

Visit the Arts and Culture Initiative online to learn more about the activities our students, faculty and alumni are involved in: