Join us for a series of events sponsored by the Mellon Foundation New College + the Cross College Alliance in the Community Grant, supporting the preservation of local history, integration of social and racial justice work into artistic practice and teaching, and exploration of questions of special interest to the local community.
About the Mellon Grant
New College + the Cross-College Alliance in the Community: Strengthening Community Outreach and Engagement
Initially funded by a five-year $750,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, New College: Connecting the Arts + Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast sought 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 was invited to hear from — and speak with — faculty scholars and artists who are renowned in their fields.
In 2019 the Mellon Foundation awarded a second five-year $750,000 grant to New College of Florida. New College + the Cross College Alliance in the Community supports curricular and research initiatives that preserve local history, integrate social and racial justice work into artistic practice and teaching, and explore questions of special interest to the local community.
The grant from the Mellon Foundation’s Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities program is a testimony to New College’s strength in the humanities, to the vibrancy of the arts community in the Sarasota-Manatee area, and to the promise of the Cross-College Alliance.
Call For Course Proposals
We are seeking proposals from the CCA for the development of credit-bearing courses taught during the 2023-2024 academic year that involve substantive community engagement and reflection on that community engagement. We believe that this project will harness the yearning of many of our students to heal this world, and it puts in place courses that will allow students to explore ways in which they can realize these aspirations by engaging with the larger community. It will build on the links that previous Mellon support has allowed us to create, and embed our colleges into the larger community.
- “Devised Theatre and Collaboration for Social Engagement”: To be taught by professors from two CCA institutions, NCF (Professor Diego Villada) and Florida State University (Professor Eliza Ladd), and in partnership with the Sarasota-based CreArte Latino Cultural Center (CreArte), this class will train undergraduate students in the techniques of Devised Theatre to collaboratively create and perform an unscripted new work. The devised theatre piece, with themes chosen by CreArte’s community members, will travel to three locations: NCF’s Black Box Theater, CreArte’s home space, and a rural Latinx-focused performance scenario near Arcadia, FL.
- “Museum Studies in Theory and Practice”: This course, proposed by NCF Professor Katie Brion and Chief Museum Curator for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Dr. David Berry, will offer students a theoretical foundation in museum studies while also introducing them to curatorial work and interdisciplinary exhibition development. Students will collaborate on the creation of a science-based exhibition (with content from dolphin research, see course #3), and establish a model for representing research occurring at New College that engages local communities.
- “New Stories, New College: An Interdisciplinary Laboratory on Showcasing New College/Community Science and Conservation through Curatorial Interpretation and Interactive Design”: This course will be a collaboration between NCF Professor Heidi Harley, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), and museum studies faculty (see course #2) to create an interactive exhibit that interprets NCF/SDRP science via methods of museum exhibit design. Together, the courses aim to create a prototype for the creation and implementation of future exhibits designed to represent New College research and engage local communities.
- “Growing Up Amish in Sarasota”: A collaboration between NCF Professor Manuel Lopez and local Mennonite community member JB Miller, this course will explore the historical, religious, and economic role the Amish community has played in Sarasota since their arrival in 1925. The course will include a series of public lectures and a photographic exhibition by a local Amish photographer.
- “Theory and Practice for the African American Historical and Cultural Center in Sarasota”: In this course, NCF Professor Uzi Baram and Vickie Oldham, President/CEO of the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition, will teach students about developing a historical and cultural center for the Sarasota community. Undergraduates will draw on oral history, anthropology, museum studies, and African American heritage studies to reimagine exhibits and curate display content for the new community-based museum.
- “Exploring Local Microbes through Community Media Projects”: Taught by NCF Professor Erika Diaz Almeyda and with twelve community partner guest speakers, this course will introduce students to microbes through a community-based, place-based lens. The final projects will use local data on the diversity of microbes and document local microbial histories via photography, artwork, and texts to create a multi-media exhibition.