Photo: Kirk Richard Smith
How to invite UW students to incorporate the arts into their lives?
Meany began with the idea of encouraging UW faculty to integrate the performing arts into their classroom curricula
Strength In Numbers
Meany Center’s season ended on May 20th with a joyful processional across campus guided by a chorus of UW dance students, faculty and community members to visit five temporary altars, each created by a remarkable local artist.
Though the altars existed only for a day, Los Angeles-based artist Daniel Alexander Jones’s project, I Choose to Remember Us Whole, was many months in the making.It began in March, 2022, when Daniel initially proposed a project to create temporary altars on the UW campus, each posing an existential question for participants to consider. He wanted to collaborate with Seattle artists, so Meany’s Engagement Team invited Valerie Curtis-Newton, Timothy White Eagle, Leon Finley, Afroditi Psarra and Althea Rao to join the project.
The group met in August and again in November and April along with staff from the Henry Gallery and faculty members from the School of Art and the Dance Department.
Black Girl Linguistic Play
Arts, of Course!
In 2021, Meany Center hired a full-time Engagement Manager with a mission to engage UW students across campus in the arts. Last season, with support from other Meany staff, The Engagement Team worked with numerous UW Faculty members to pilot Arts of Course, a program which encouraged faculty to assign performances to their students as part of their coursework; students received free tickets to attend.
Four hundred and seventy-two UW Students attended Meany Center Performances this past season through this program. And what did they think? Here are a few of the responses we received to our survey:
“This performance offered me an opportunity to watch/listen to music that made me think more deeply about music as a practice of social change and as a community building practice.”
“I always feel more fulfilled and 'human' after watching/viewing the arts. I think in this sense it increased my sense of wellbeing as a person.”
“It was a nice way to de-stress and take a break from more academic coursework.”
We hope to engage even more students in the coming season as we continue outreach to our campus community.
Diana Garcia-Snyder in I Choose to Remember Us Whole
Photo: Sara Jinks
Over the ensuing months, Meany staff, artists, students, faculty and community members came together to create, activate and participate in the project. By the time the event culminated on May 20th, hundreds of people had contributed their time, their art and their labor, making I Choose to Remember Us Whole as great as the sum of its parts.