New College initiative flourishes along Florida’s creative coast

Funded by a five-year $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New College: Connecting the Arts and Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast seeks to foster deeper understanding of the arts and humanities through new programs at New College and with local arts organizations and the Cross-College Alliance. Through the expansion of existing public programs and a new series of open seminars, the local community is invited to hear from — and speak with — faculty scholars and artists who are renowned in their fields.

2018/2019 Season Events



New Music New College: Inter/Action
Saturday November 10, 2018, 8 p.m. at The Mildred Sainer Pavilion.
New works featuring Mark Dancigers, New College students, and Grand Electric (pre-concert talk, 7:30 pm).

Composer and electric guitarist Mark Dancigers returns to New College as the college’s first Professor of Digital Media and Music. Inter/Action will engage the possibilities of digital media through works that explore sound, music, movement, and images. Dancigers will lead students in a new piece that uses the sound of rain data as an inspiration for improvisation and dance. The second half of the concert will feature the duo Grand Electric—Dancigers on guitar and electronics and renowned New York City based pianist Aaron Wunsch—as a bridge between the electric and acoustic worlds.
This event is free to New College students, faculty and staff, and $15 to the public. For more information please visit….

Campus Conversations: RAP: The Poetry of Hip-Hop
Thursday November 15, 2018, 5:30-7 p.m.  New College Cook Hall Living Room

Rap: The Poetry of Hip-Hop led by Professor Carl Shaw and alumnus Paul Loriston

Since its beginnings in the South Bronx of the 1970s, rap music has been stigmatized, with few listeners appreciating the intense poetic artistry at work in the genre. It is, in fact, today’s most prominent and influential mode of poetry, with complex rhythm, rhyme, wordplay, style, and storytelling. Our discussion will look at the history, content and, above all, the sophisticated poetics at play in today’s rap music.

This event is free and open to the public however seats are limited so please register at

Hermitage Artist Retreat Presents… Hermitage North @ New College
Friday November 16, 2018 2 p.m. in College Hall Music Room
Jen Shyu: Groundbreaking Experimental Artist
Gifted Creators of all artistic disciplines are invited to live and work at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood. During their residencies, they share their talents with the community. Hermitage North @ New College is the latest iteration of this outreach. This free series encompasses artist talks and readings, glimpses of the creation of works-in-progress, and live performances of music, theater, poetry and more.

Asian Film Series:
Thursday November 29, 2018, 5 p.m. in Sainer Pavilion
The Road,” a 2015 documentary by Zhang Zanbo
Introduced by Dr. Jing Zhang, New College of Florida

Winner of the Grand Prize of “Chinese Documentary Award” at the 10th Taiwan International Documentary Festival, the film records Zhang’s (a former teacher at the Beijing Film Academy) three-year reporting in Hunan on the impact that a huge highway project had on rural life. The book version of this film was published in Chinese in November 2015 but was pulled off shelves and banned on the mainland in 2016 for “unclear reasons.” The film was available for the U.S. market only this October.


Narrative Non-Fiction Storytelling Workshop
Thursday December 6, 2018, 2:30-4:30 pm in Cook Library Room 141

This workshop showcases non-fiction writing specialists Eric Deggans and Margo Hammond, as well as author and Writer in Residence at New College Sarah Gerard on how they collect their material and craft vivid stories for books, newspapers and magazines. The program is organized and will be moderated by New College Professor of Anthropology Maria D. Vesperi, a former working journalist and a trustee of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies from 1995-2015.

Eric Deggans is NPR’s first full-time TV critic, crafting stories and commentaries for the network’s shows, such as Morning Edition, Here & Now and All Things Considered, along with writing material for

Margo Hammond is an author, editor, memoir writing teacher, literary critic and founder of a blog called Creative Late Bloomers devoted to telling stories about creative aging.

Sarah Gerard is the author of the essay collection Sunshine State, a New York Times critics’ choice, and the novel Binary Star, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times first fiction prize.

This interactive workshop is free and open to the public — the only requirement is an interest in good stories and how they are told.


Campus Conversations: Visual Taxonomies The Art of Insects
Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:30-7 p.m. New College Cook Hall Lobby

Join professor of Art Kim Anderson and professor of Biology Emily Saarinen for a lively and illustrated discussion of the intersection between the study of biology (particularly of insects) and the art of drawing.

Make your third Thursday an evening of some good food and wine, socializing, and inspiring and collegial conversation with neighbors and New College Folk.

Seats are limited so please RSVP at

Asian Film Series: 
Friday January 18, 2019 5 p.m. Mildred Sainer Auditorium
Up the Yangtze a 2007 film by Yung Chang
Introduced by Dr. Carolyn Bloomer, Ringling College of Art and Design

Up the Yangtze explores lives transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history, a hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle. Up the Yangtze was very well received by film critics, and was described as “astonishing” documentary which “refuses to editorialize” by The New York Times. The film appeared on several critics’ top ten lists of the best films of 2008.
This event is free and oprn to the public.

New Music New College: Ensemble Dal Niente with George Lewis
Saturday, January 26, 8 p.m., Mildred Sainer Pavilion (pre-concert talk, 7:30 pm)

Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente has been showered with critical praise and prestigious awards since forming in 2004. Their astonishing virtuosity is put entirely in the service of musical communication, making even the most demanding contemporary works accessible and compelling. Their program for NMNC will feature pieces by George Lewis, Anthony Braxton, and Katherine Young that, while notated, each have origins in improvisation. Composer and MacArthur (“Genius Grant”) Fellow George Lewis will join us for this concert.

This event is free to New College students, faculty and staff, and $15 to the public. For more information please visit

Seeking Project Proposals

Submit a proposal for a project consistent with the grant’s priorities on inter-institutional collaboration, public access and outreach, and the development of sustainable programs in the arts and humanistic disciplines.

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See Previous Mellon Events Here.

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additional connections

New Music New College

New Music New College (NMNC) is an extension of the music program at New College that presents five programs of contemporary, avant-garde and experimental music each year.

Read more here

Public Archaeology Lab (PAL)

The New College Public Archaeology Lab (NCPAL) is committed to facilitating education, outreach, and the study of archaeology within a broader anthropological and interdisciplinary context.

Read more here

Previous Mellon Grant Events

A list of past events brought to you by “New College: Connecting the Arts and Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast.”

Read more here