March 2016 Newsletter: Broadening Perspectives Through the Arts

Written by
Maura M. Fennessy
March 22, 2016

"The arts are an essential facet of the world-class education we seek to provide all Princeton students. Those who engage deeply with the arts broaden their perspectives, enhance their creativity, and enrich their lives." - President Christopher L. Eisgruber

This issue of shares how the arts are integrated into the academic experience at Princeton and how the university applies this approach to community engagement by providing access to its galleries, theaters, and libraries. This commitment to President Eisgruber's vision of broadening perspectives through the arts helps illustrate why the university is investing over 4 years to construct the Arts and Transit project - a facility that, when completed in 2017, will provide a creative hub for students and faculty to participate in and experience the arts and one that will be available, accessible, and often free, for the public to enjoy. Not to mention a really unique public train station and much-loved Wawa store that have already been completed.

Arts letters


The Arts and Transit Project will serve as the new home for the Lewis Center for the Arts, which brings together Princeton’s programs in creative writing, dance, music theater, theater, visual arts and the interdisciplinary Atelier.  The Lewis Center was built on the conviction that exposure to the arts, particularly to the experience of producing art, helps each of us to make sense of our lives and the lives of our neighbors. Students are encouraged to apply their creativity through civic engagement with area youth and in recent years have provided children’s theater performances, held workshops for high school students, and created a collaborative performance with LGBTQ teens in Trenton.  And the Center presents over 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, film screenings and lectures each year, most of which are free.

Learn more about the Lewis Center and experience its upcoming events.

Combat Paper NJ


The Woodrow Wilson School’s Bernstein Gallery presents exhibitions that stimulate thinking about contemporary policy issues. The gallery serves to enhance the educational impact of the course curriculum and provide a cultural forum for the community at large.  Featured in the gallery through March 18 is an exhibit entitled Combat Paper NJ, a program of the Printmaking Center of New Jersey that provides veterans the opportunity to use art to explore their physical, psychological and emotional experiences.



Starn brothers


The Princeton University Art Museum is one of the world's leading university art museums with collections of more than 92,000 works of art that range from ancient to contemporary art and concentrate geographically on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, China, the United States and Latin America. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum seeks to bring the visual arts to the heart of the Princeton University experience for students, scholars, and visitors of all kinds.  The museum hosts Art for Families on Saturday mornings and provides countless educational opportunities for students in the region.  Current exhibits include “Pastures Green and Dark Satanic Mills: The British Passion for Landscape” and “By Dawn’s Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War”. 

Cotsen Children's Library


The Cotsen Children’s Library is a hidden gem within the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Library.  It is a resource for children, families and educators in the region.  The enchanting Bookscape reading space for children is open to the public and hosts weekly programs that use art to enhance literacy for children of all ages.  And schools within 10 miles of Princeton can bring the library’s engaging programs to their own classrooms. Visit Cotsen’s blog, Pop Goes the Page, for a taste of their creativity.  Or bring children ages 4-10 to “A Day in Digitopolis” on Saturday, April 9 and experience hands-on exploration, demonstrations, games, challenges, and unexpected connections for the mathphilic and mathphobic alike!


Stephanie Leotsakos

Being composed: The art of learning to write music

When you go to a concert or plug in your earbuds at the gym, do you ever wonder how all those hundreds or thousands of individual notes made the journey from the composer's imagination to paper? What does composing music even look like? At Princeton, where composition is taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, the tool of choice is likely to be a laptop. Learn about the creative processes of four members of Princeton’s Department of Music, including Sparta’s own Stephanie Leotsakos, a member of the Class of 2016.


Extraordinary Processes

'Extraordinary processes' course links art and engineering

Inspired by the decimation of ash trees in New Jersey and throughout the Eastern United States caused by the emerald ash borer insect, and the resulting increased availability of ash lumber, Joe Scanlon, the director of the Program in Visual Arts, and Sigrid Adriaenssens, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, teamed up to create a course that integrated both of their areas of expertise. Over the course of the semester, artists and engineers, firmly grounded in their respective fields of study, learned how to appreciate the benefits of their diverse perspectives.  Learn more.


Itzhak and Toby Perlman

String theory: Violinists Itzhak and Toby Perlman give lecture to seniors

He arrived onstage without a violin — neither his 1714 Soil Stradivarius nor his Guarneri del Gesu 1743 Sauret, which he has played on concert stages around the world — and still gave a command performance. On Tuesday, Feb. 10, world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman — winner of 16 Grammy Awards and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom — and his wife, fellow Juilliard graduate Toby Perlman, opened the Class of 2016's Last Lectures series in Richardson Auditorium at Princeton with a talk titled "My Goal Is to Not Be Bored by What I Do."



"World on a Wire: 12 Films, 12 Filmmakers"

Each week a new filmmaker visits to screen and discuss his or her most recent film as part of the spring 2016 course “World on a Wire: 12 Films, 12 Filmmakers,” taught by Princeton Arts Fellow Pacho Velez. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. every Thursday evening from February 4 through April 28 in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street. Coming soon will be Joanna Arnow on March 24 and Khalik Allah on March 31. See the full schedule.

Fund for Irish Studies Lecture on "Volunteer Poetics: Irish and  British Poetry in 1916"

Extend your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations by attending this this lecture by Matthew Campbell, Professor of Modern Literature at University of York, on Friday, March 25 at 4:30pm.  The event is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Richardson Chamber Players perform "Parisian Spring"

Who doesn’t love Paris in the springtime? Princeton's resident ensemble of performance faculty, distinguished guest artists and supremely talented students present a program of works by Debussy, Ravel, Ibert, De Falla and Milhaud, Sunday, April 3 at 3:00pm. Learn more.