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Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Arts & Creativity Initiative at the University of Washington has fostered durable interdisciplinary relationships among faculty, developed new introductory arts curricula for students, hosted visiting artists who incubated new work on our campus, and more fully integrated the Meany Center for the Performing Arts with UW’s core teaching and research mission.

At the center of this project is one key concept: the creative process. The opportunities this initiative has created for open-ended artistic experimentation conducted at a large public R1 institution have been unlike anything many participating artists say they have experienced since their own time in college as undergraduates. Extraordinary work has emerged as a result — in some cases opening entirely new areas of artistic inquiry. The initiative has profoundly altered the way in which the artists — both campus-based faculty artists and visiting artists — have been able to approach their research and teaching. For students, the creative process classes are threshold for them to access the arts with an artist’s mindset.

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