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 a 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.

As we pivot to an online platform, we invite you to register in advance to receive access to our event codes. Please check the website periodically for the addition of new events.

Unless otherwise noted all events are free and open to the public


what we do in the house that has no walls: Thesis Art Exhibition 2021

Apr 14th -May 12th  Mon-Fri: 12-5 p.m.  Masks required  
Isermann Gallery  5315 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL, 34243  

The New College of Florida Art Department is pleased to present the 2021 Thesis Exhibition entitled “what we do in the house that has no walls.” The artwork featured in this year’s exhibition reflects on diverse topics ranging from cultural identity, landscape, nostalgia, and the complex relationships between spirituality, popular culture, and politics. The exhibition includes work in 3D modelling, digital illustration, painting and printmaking. Graduating seniors featured in the exhibition include Ayeola Omolara Kaplan, E. Barrett, Freddie O’Brion, Margaux Albiez, and Yajaira Urzua-Reyes. The exhibition also previews the work of first-semester thesis students Hannah Isabella Gatof and Magdalena Van Thienen. 

*The gallery is limited to 10 guests at a time and masks are required on campus.

About the corresponding Senior Thesis Exhibition Catalogue:

“Cuban American Still Life” by Magdalena Van Thienen

Seven student artists and five student art historians are represented in this year’s Senior Thesis Exhibition Catalogue. This catalogue is the third iteration of an annual, collaborative effort—following a hiatus in 2020—between the Art and Art History Areas of Concentration at New College.

The project is designed to foster art and art history students’ skills in art criticism and publication, while responding to the remarkable creative endeavors of their graduating art student peers. Four of the art history students were paired with art thesis students to write interpretative essays on their work. In collaboration with an art student, two of the art history students have focused on the design and presentation of the catalogue.

Production has followed research, studio visits, interviews and group feedback from New College students and faculty. The catalogue has given students a better understanding of contemporary art criticism and its role in the exhibition process, promoted interdisciplinary collaboration, and highlighted the range and depth of the visual arts on campus.

To view the catalogue, click here.

Campus Conversations: “Medieval Islamic Medicine: the Missing Link between Ancient Greece and the European Renaissance” with Dr. Nassima Neggaz

Thur, Apr 15  6:00 – 7:30 p.m.Virtual Event  RSVP Here!

What is Islamic medicine, and why has it been instrumental in the formation of modern Western medicine? This talk will take you from the origins of Islamic medicine, and its roots in ancient Greece, to the Islamic Golden Age of Abbasid Baghdad in the 9th-13th centuries. We will examine how the early medical knowledge of the ancient Greeks was translated, adapted, and transformed in the Islamic world during the medieval period, before being introduced to Europe and leading to the Renaissance. I will be using maps to demonstrate the travel of knowledge and ideas, and showcase the multiplicity of people who partook in this enterprise, including Muslim, Christian, and Jewish physicians and scientists in Baghdad. I will present examples of some of the key physicians of the period, their medical contributions, along with short extracts from their works. This talk will give you a taste of the richness of the Islamic medieval source material.

Nassima Neggaz
is an Assistant Professor in Islamic Studies and Religion at New College Florida, Sarasota. She holds a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Georgetown University; a master’s degree in Arab Studies (Politics) from Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies; and another master’s degree in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Prior to coming to Florida, she taught Islamic Studies and History at the University of Cardiff and the University of Oxford (UK). She was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Middle East Institute in Singapore.

Physically Integrated Dance Series:
Artist Residency w. REVolutions Dance: April 12th-17th 


Co-Founder, Artistic Director, Inclusive Dance Educator, and Dancer with REVolutions Dance. Shortly after becoming paralyzed in a diving accident in 1995, Dwayne began competing in wheelchair track and field. In 2002, he was looking for some sort of cross training activity when a friend suggested he try taking a dance class. He started taking classes and was invited to perform and, from there, the rest is history. While dancing, he discovers two things that he and no otherwise experience in sports, a broader range of physical challenges and a deeper and more meaningful connection with his fellow dancers.

Dwayne received his BA in special education from the University of South Florida. He has been a professional dancer since 2002 and has conducted workshops around the US and the world having completed eight tours and six countries. Being a former wheelchair athlete and having strong connections to the disabled community Dwayne began reaching out to his disabled peers and inviting them to participate in different dance activities. In 2005, Dwayne along with his colleague Amie West decided to make it official and together they formed the nonprofit organization, REVolutions Dance.

REVolutions Dance is an inclusive mixed ability dance company led by composed of professional trained and accomplished dancers and dance educators who have danced and taught in the schools, professional studios, university, and in the community setting in the US and around the world

“Dance, specifically the creative process involved in dance, has led me to a deeper understanding of myself and my perspectives.  Connecting and creating with other people has encouraged me to consider and formulate my place in the world and what impact I want to have on it.  Physically speaking, managing my disabilities is never ending, and dance is always helping me in developing my ability to move through the world.” – Dwayne Scheuneman


Fri, Apr 16  l  8:40 – 9:30 a.m. EST  l  Online Event l  RSVP for Link

Co-taught by Dwayne Scheuneman and Sea Lee, these workshops allow the teaching artists to visit schools and other similar venues where they help students with and without disabilities work together to create unique creative experiences that open the doors to understanding, equality, and mutual respect.  

Born and raised in South Korea, Sea (pronounced as “Say”) Lee was trained both conservatively and professionally at SunHwa Arts High School under the direction of Seung Yup Hong. She received a BFA with Cum Laude honors from University of Florida and MFA with fellowship from Hollins University/ American Dance Festival. Sea has performed in the works of such diverse artists including Neta Pulvermacher, Kristin O’Neal, Michael Foley, Kraig Bopi Patterson, Ming-Lung Yang, Ella Ben-Ahron, Seungyup Hong, HeJin Jang, Thomas DeFrantz, Kevin Guy, and Renee Robinson, and danced professionally with Moving Current Dance Collective where she performed in the original works of Heidi Henderson, Victoria Marks, Doug Guillespie, Somebodies Dance Theater, Cinthia Hennessy, Jack Clark, and Orange Grove Dance.

Sea has been on the faculty at the University of Tampa, St. Petersburg College and Cypress Creek middle school. Sea’s choreography has been presented by Co-motion Dance Theatre (2013, 2014), HCC Dance Ensembles (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), ACDFA in University of North Carolina Greensboro (2013) and Florida State University (2011), University of Tampa (2015, 2016), Moving Current Dance Collective (2019) and presented at Hollins University, NewGrounds Festival, and the American Dance Festival. As an art advocate, she has served as a review panel for Creative Pinellas and Emerging Artist Grant (2016, 2017), which award grants to winners in various genres of arts. Sea currently serves as a dance faculty at Hillsborough Community College and teaches and performs with a physically integrated dance company, REVolutions Dance, regionally, nationally, and internationally.



Fri, Apr 16  l  6:00 p.m. EST  l  Online Event l  RSVP for Link


“ Life After Life is a lovely film. The choreographers form a special bond with three chrarismatic senior women as they shape raw, simple, authentic movement into a personal story told through movement. This is not a dance-made-for-film but more of a human-interst story with a wider appeal touching on aging, healing, the creative process, and just so many levels of the human condition.”

– (Karen Peterson, Artistic Director of Karen Peterson in Miami, FL)

 is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Tampa where he teaches media studies, film production, and travel courses abroad. Dr. Boulton has written and produced television for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, and Court TV. His films on sports, science, and dance have shown at festivals all over the world including Filmwinter in Germany, Revelation in Australia, On Art in Poland, Besides the Screen in Brazil, and the Sarasota, Santa Cruz, and Cinema on the Bayou film festivals in the United States.

Director Statement: “Modern dance can be difficult to understand and appreciate, much less perform. What began as a rebellion against the formalism of ballet can now seem like an esoteric art reserved for sophisticated audiences and young dancers. But there is a growing movement to make modern dance more physically integrated and accessible by including mature and/or uniquely-abled performers not typically associated with grace and athleticism, but for whom the desire and ability to move is never taken for granted. I made this film as a way to better understand the creative process of modern dance choreography from that perspective. The result is a revealing look at an unlikely cast of characters overcoming obstacles to tell stories through movement and make modern dance more open to each and every body. It was an honor to work with these women and I can’t wait for you to meet them.”



Sat, Apr 17  l  1:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP for Link

REVolutions Dance’s performance will highlight both its professional performers and its REVyouth performers. Their REVyouth program is in its tenth year and features young dancers of all abilities. The REVyouth ensemble has performed at many community events and local theaters. Through the REVyouth program, these talented young performers have and have had the opportunity to work with and learn from a variety of professional dancers from around the world, including Sidiki Conde from Africa, Liu Yan from China and Hanna Harchakova from Belarus.

For fifteen years, REVolutions Dance’s professional company has been entertaining audiences with their signature style of partnering and collaboration between dancers from diverse physical and cultural backgrounds. The REVdancers have performed throughout the country and around the world including international tours in Russia, China and Poland. Experiencing a REVolutions Dance performance will surely broaden one’s perspective of the artistic and physical contributions disabled dancers offer the dance community and delight and surprise audience members.

About the Physically Integrated Dance Series: This series is an expansion of the popular annual NCF Dance for Parkinson event. In keeping with our focus of offering physically integrative movement, we aim for this series to show its participants that dance is for everybody, no matter their age, social-economic background, abilities, and or previous experiences or lack of  dance.  For the full series line-up visit

We would like to give a big thank you to our partnering organizations Parkinson Place and Sarasota Contemporary

New Music New College Presents: Artist Conversation Vicky Chow

Thur, Apr 22  5:00 p.m. EDT  Admission: Free   
On Zoom (link will be forthcoming here)  

Before attending the concert
, come to a special conversation event with Canadian pianist Vicky Chow. This open platform will allow you to converse with the artist to better understand their process and the development of her work.

Artist Conversation Series: Realizing that our concerts include music that will be new to most or all of the audience, we strive to offer plenty of context. These events generally begin these with a brief performance—an excerpt from something that will be in the concert—and then start a discussion with everyone there about their responses to what they just heard and saw.

New Music New College Presents: Vicky Chow

Sat, Apr 24  l  8:00 p.m. EDT  Mildred Sainer Pavilion & Online  Admission: Free 
Limited In-Person Seating l Click Here for info on ticketing and streaming

PC: Kaitlin Jane Photography

With her expressive and nuanced interpretations of contemporary works, Canadian pianist
Vicky Chow has been described as “brilliant” (New York Times), “new star of new music” (Los Angeles Times) and “one of our era’s most brilliant pianists” (Pitchfork). Captivating audiences around the world with her expansive repertoire and musical prowess, she enjoys a diverse career collaborating with many of the world’s most renowned composers and ensembles.

She is the pianist for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, piano duo X88, New Music Detroit, and has collaborated with other ensembles such as the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Wet Ink Ensemble, and Momenta Quartet. As an artist frequently broadcasted on WNYC, her recorded work can be found on the ‘Nonesuch’, ‘New Amsterdam’, ‘Tzadik’, ‘Cantaloupe Music’, ‘Innova’, ‘Hinterzimmer’, and ‘AltaVoz’ labels. Her performances of Morton Feldman and John Cage were featured on BBC3‘s documentary series “The Sound and The Fury,” based on Alex Ross’s book The Rest is Noise.

This concert features Steve Reich’s Piano Counterpoint, which was arranged for Chow in 2011, and other works. Don’t miss this fierce and versatile champion of the cutting edge in new piano music.

Connect More With Us

Physically Integrated Dance Series

Read more here

New Music New College

Contemporary music is a beautiful, riotous, unpredictable field of activity and exploration. Its variety and depth speak to music’s mysterious but utterly essential purpose. New Music New College embraces this mystery, and the sense of discovery and exploration in cutting-edge music, and seeks to embed meaningful encounters with contemporary music for all in the New College academic landscape, as well as in Sarasota and in the national community.

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