As part of Georgia Tech’s strategic initiative to foster and support a campus culture where the arts can thrive, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Rafael L. Bras has announced the creation of an Office of the Arts and a faculty-led Council of the Arts.
“Georgia Tech is all about creativity and design,” Bras said. “That creativity is expressed in a variety of contexts, ranging from product development, to architecture, to policy formulation, and everything in between. So it is only natural to invest in developing opportunities that will encourage creativity in the arts.”
Both the office and the council were part of recommendations made by the TechArts task force as part of the Institute’s strategic plan implementation efforts.
“Our students, staff and community are hungry for outlets of artistic expression and appreciation,” Bras said, citing last year’s Clough Art Crawl — that drew 150 submissions. “The Council of the Arts, supported by the Office of the Arts, will ensure that the Institute nurtures, appreciates, collects and creates the very best of the arts.”
The Office of the Arts will oversee the Ferst Center for the Arts and will be led by George Thompson, current director of the Ferst Center. The office will advocate for, promote and facilitate arts partnerships on campus and between Tech and the community.
“Part of a well-rounded education includes musical, visual and written arts, and the Office of the Arts will help the campus community easily identify arts opportunities,” Thompson said. “We will be a resource for creative research and academic and performance collaborations on campus and will manage a new campus-wide, arts-focused website, among other things.”
The office will be complemented by an internal Council of the Arts, to be chaired by Aaron Bobick, a professor in the School of Interactive Computing who also co-chaired the TechArts task force. The committee will be comprised of representatives from a variety of schools and departments. Thompson will also be a part of the group to facilitate collaboration between the Office of the Arts and the council.
“The Council of the Arts will be the faculty entity that inherits the mandate of the TechArts initiative and will continue to push for innovation and development in education, research, performance, exhibition, community outreach and student arts activities,” Bobick said. “The council will impact the campus both through organizing faculty- and student-centric efforts and by coordinating activities with George and the Office of the Arts to promote the arts at Georgia Tech.”
In addition to the Council of the Arts, a committee comprised of alumni and other community leaders with strong ties to the Institute is being formed to support fundraising for future arts initiatives.