SLIP:  Summer Lab for Interdisciplinary Performance


Students in the Stamps School of Art & Design and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance are involved in rigorous pre-professional degree programs but upon graduation they quickly discover there is no single clear-cut career path. This is particularly true for students working in interdisciplinary fields who aim to create rather than interpret existing work.

No matter how talented or well-trained in their crafts, young artists are faced with the challenge of how to sustain their creative practice outside of a well-equipped university, while supporting themselves as they pursue their visions. The Summer Lab for Interdisciplinary Practice (SLIP), aims to address this challenge by implementing an innovative, action-basedsequence of two three-credit courses and a third one-credit follow-up course, that together will serve as a pilot for a program of potentially tremendous value to students preparing to forge careers as professional artists.

The pilot began in Winter 2014 with Here is New York, a course designed to prepare students for their upcoming four-week intensive residency in New York City. Students learned of the history and culture of New York, explored the history and theory of interdisciplinary time-based work, and applied for short-term internships with small NYC arts organizations.

The New York City residency began in Spring 2014, incorporating internships with organizations focused on boundary blurring work; master classes with a diverse group of cutting edge artists; attendance at exhibitions, performances and other events; creation of two creative projects; and individualized critiques of students’ work from guest artists. The residency aimed to provide access to places students wouldn’t necessarily be able to find on their own, and facilitated conversations to help them imagine their future lives as artists after graduation.

The students’ final creative projects will be informed by their residency experiences as they participate in a Fall 2014 course devoted to rehearsing and remounting the work created in New York City at the Duderstadt Video Studio. Students will both share their work with the University community and have an opportunity for the work to be professionally documented and critiqued by faculty and staff from participating units.


Here is New York (YouTube)


Project Team:

Heidi Kumao, Stamps School of Art & Design
Holly Hughes, Stamps School of Art and Design