Hendrix College Joins Imagining America Consortium

CONWAY, Ark. (October 10, 2012) - Hendrix College was recently invited to join Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life.

A consortium of 90 colleges, Imaging America's mission is to advance "knowledge and creativity through publicly engaged scholarship that draws on humanities, arts, and design … [and to] catalyze change in campus practices, structures, and policies that enables publicly engaged artists and scholars to thrive and contribute to community action and revitalization."

Last week, four Hendrix faculty members recently attended an Imagining America conference in New York City. Faculty attending the conference included Dr. Jay Barth (politics), Dr. John Krebs (music), Ann Muse (theatre arts), and Maxine Payne (art).

"Our work will be to foster relationships between the academy and the community to facilitate learning for our students and to do public good," said Dr. Krebs.

Krebs said the group is "still processing" the possibilities but saw some "very suggestive examples" at the New York conference. Some of the examples they learned about were a project that measured the local economic impact of arts events, a community project which allowed students to experience in concrete terms abstract concepts which they had discussed in class, and a course on tango dance and culture which familiarized students with how the arts relate to wider cultural issues.

 "I think it's possible to have wide range of activities based on their goals," added Krebs.

Theatre professor Ann Muse agreed.

"The conference was an intense, dynamic collection of artists and scholars discussing their work within communities to engage in dialogue about the needs of the community," said Professor Muse.  "From the Pregones Theatre Company in the Bronx to a grass roots program at Allegheny College that over the last 20 years has transformed its community through dance education the work was truly extraordinary …  I think it is a perfect fit for Hendrix College where we strive to develop sensitive and engaged students through our work."

For more information on Imagining America, visit their website.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country's "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Feel about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.