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Hopkins Center Receives Grant for Class Divide Project

The Hopkins Center for the Arts has been awarded $90,375 from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program to fund Class Divide, a multiyear, cross-campus/community programming initiative that examines issues of social and economic class though the eyes of artists. The Hop is one of only eight campus-based arts organizations nationwide to receive the award.

According to Sandra Gibson, president and CEO of APAP, "Colleges and universities have been leading patrons of the arts for more than 100 years ... The Creative Campus Innovations Program provides an opportunity to fully integrate the performing arts into the life of higher education and the community." Hopkins Center Programming Director Margaret Lawrence says, "The award will enable the Hop to forge a new level of collaboration with campus and community partners, building programs that deeply engage people in important issues."

The initiative began in the Hop's 2006-07 season, with extensive campus and community residencies surrounding two performances: Roseneath Theatre's Danny, King of the Basement, an exploration of issues facing a family without a stable home; and Anne Galjour's solo play Hurricane, chronicling life on the Louisiana Bayou.

The Creative Campus award fuels and expands the initiative for two more seasons. The Hop will develop its relationship with Galjour, commissioning a play about class in northern New England to premiere in fall 2008. Upcoming 2007-08 Class Divide events include:

  • Readings by Galjour of her new work-in-progress about class in northern New England
  • Presentation of Rik Reppe's Staggering Toward America, an acclaimed theatrical monologue developed from a personal odyssey in which Reppe traveled across America in the wake of 9/11
  • Programs and performances exploring the roots of American music and its intersections with economic issues
  • A term-long Dartmouth Film Society series
  • Several class-focused Dartmouth student creative projects
  • Artistic residencies exploring and expressing local students' experiences of class at Hanover and Mascoma high schools

According to Lawrence, "Receiving this grant is a testament to the many wonderful partners at Dartmouth and in the community who've advised us as we move forward."

Among the campus partners are the Office of the Provost, Office of the Associate Dean for the Humanities, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, Tucker Foundation, Department of Studio Art, Hopkins Center Student Advisory Council, and the Dartmouth Centers Forum. Class Divide also deepens the Hop's engagement with local organizations, including Class Action, a nonprofit that will partner with the Hop on a two-year series of educational workshops.

According to Provost Barry Scherr, the project will be "an innovative model, and both the Hopkins Center staff and I anticipate sharing its lessons and successes with the arts presenting and educational fields."

By LISA VALLEJO-SORENSEN

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Last Updated: 12/17/08