Letter to the Editor: Living Arts offers students a community to learn, grow

BY THERESA REID AND JEAN LEVERICH

Published April 1, 2010

To the Daily:

We would like to respond to Jamie Block's recent column, which fundamentally misrepresented Living Arts, the new living/learning community to be housed in Bursley Hall on North Campus starting in Fall 2010 (Corralling creativity will only stigmatize, 03/18/2010).

Approximately 40 percent of all first-year students are housed in Bursley Hall or the Vera Baits Houses. Despite the large number of first-year students living on North Campus, all of the living/learning communities for first-year students are currently located on Central Campus. Living Arts, which will house 80 students in two hallways in Bursley for its pilot year, will fill this void.

Living Arts is a living/learning community primarily for first- and second-year students that seeks to enhance North Campus's already vibrant resources and to make students excited about living and studying on North Campus. Students who participate in Living Arts will take a one-credit class each semester that explores the creative process and collaboration across engineering, the arts, and other fields. Like all living/learning communities, Living Arts is open to all University undergraduates.

Living Arts will enhance Bursley and the North Campus community by providing a gallery for students to display their artwork. New in-house studios designed to foster students' creative and collaborative work in art and design, architecture, and engineering. A new performance space with a sprung floor, as well as group and individual practice rooms, will be available for musicians, dancers and actors. The renovated spaces will be open to all Bursley residents and much of the programming initiated by Living Arts faculty, staff and residents will be open to all interested students, wherever they live and whatever their academic program.

In addition to establishing Living Arts, Arts on Earth is working with colleagues across campus to infuse creativity and the arts throughout the University. We encourage Block and other students to visit our website to learn more about our own programming (artsonearth.umich.edu) and to visit Montage (montage.umich.edu), the University’s new online arts portal, to learn about colleagues' work in engaging students in the arts and creativity across campus.

Theresa Reid, Executive Director of Arts on Earth
Jean Leverich, Program Director of Living Arts