Penn Arts Leadership Conference: The Future of Arts at Penn

The Penn Arts Leadership Conference invited Penn arts and culture board members to learn about trends in the field of arts and culture.

Podcast: http://www.upenn.edu/secretary/overseers/ArtLeader0509.html
Introduction: President Amy Gutmann, Deputy Provost Janice Bellace; Keynote: Neil Rudenstine (Chairman of ARTstor.org); Panelists: Anne d'Harnoncourt (Philadelphia Museum of Art), Peggy Amsterdam (Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance), and many others.

Excerpt From President Amy Gutmann:
As many of you know, arts funding for public schools, including, I'm sorry to say, those in Philadelphia, has been severely reduced. I think that's a tragedy. The result is that for many of our neighborhood children Penn programs provide their only exposure to arts and culture. So it's important that some 80,000 school-aged children benefit annually from special programs delivered just for them by the Penn Museum, the Annenberg Center, the Morris Arboretum, and Kelly Writers House, among other very eminent programs here at Penn.

The question of where we want to lead the arts is an essential component of the question of how we want to lead our lives. That, to me, is first and foremost what teaching the arts is about -- what is the role of the arts in a good life both as individuals and in the good life of an institution?

Excerpt From Neil Rudenstine:
We are seriously mistaken if we draw too sharp a line between the academic intelligence and the creative intelligence; between the rational and the expressive; the logical and the imaginative; the power to prove something through the use of empirical evidence and the power to use insight and similar forms of evidence drawn from the observation and experience of life. In other words, all academic subjects and the arts deal with aspects of human existence. They’re all engaged in a search for clarification, for understanding and for knowledge. They all require a wide range of intellectual and imaginative powers. They are, in effect, jointly part of the university's pursuit of truths in their different manifestations.

Because art's materials are, for instance, sounds, tempi, shapes, colors, gestures, movements, and actions, our ability to make an even partial sense of a painting or a sonata depends on an enormous amount of studying, of looking, listening, searching, and trying to be in tune with that particular work and that particular mode. Trying to interpret or read and understand patterns and forms that seem so lucid at moments but also turn out fiendishly to be very resistant to explication. Even when we've done our best, we will find, finally, that we have to be satisfied with provisional interpretations. We ourselves discover them to be imperfect and that leads us to attempt reinterpretations while always knowing that the very nature and richness of this process is, in fact, its open-ended quality.


Hitoshi Nakazato at the Arthur Ross Gallery

May 12 through July 1: http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v53/n33/arg.html

Almanac excerpt:
“I have always stated my lack of interest in focusing on the end result,” Hitoshi, as he is universally known, said. “For me, the process itself results in some kind of imagery, always allowing an element of chance to decide the final outcome.”