California State University, Long Beach
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Carpenter Center Receives Creative Campus Innovations Project Grant Of $190K

Published: December 1, 2010

The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) has awarded the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at CSULB a $190,241 grant for its two-year Creative Campus Innovations project, “Banned, Blacklisted and Boycotted: Censorship and the Response to It” (“The B-Word Project”). The Carpenter Center received additional funds of $51,670 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) for operating expenses.

The grant was one of only six distributed to higher education campuses nationwide. Funded by DDCF, the Creative Campus Innovations Grants identifies, supports and documents cross-campus collaborations that integrate the performing arts and work of performing arts presenters into the academy and the community.

As the first campus-wide initiative led by the Carpenter Center to focus attention on one broad topic through innovative collaborations with professors, departments, organizations and off-campus entities, “The B-Word Project” will stimulate wide-ranging discussions and activities to examine what happens when a voice—whether in artistic endeavors, journalism, scientific research or other areas—is stifled through governmental, commercial or social restraints.

“We are honored to have been selected for this very competitive and prestigious award,” said Michele Roberge, executive director of the Carpenter Center. “We are working with a stellar committee of dedicated faculty and staff from 14 different departments and organizations on campus, including special participation with the University Art Museum, to bring attention to the issue of censorship to all CSULB students and to our greater Long Beach community. It will be an exciting two years.”

Activities will include many new course offerings and modifications to several existing courses; a controversial dance piece by acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones which will be performed by CSULB students; student work with digital music under the guidance of Negativland, a three-member band famous for making music in defiance of copyright laws; Girl Talk, a musician who specializes in remixing pre-recorded music; and participation by the performing artists Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, John Fleck and Karen Finley, known as the NEA 4 whose grants from the NEA were rescinded in 1990.

Additionally, there will be a major visual art exhibit on the Peace Press; a substantial look at newly restored censored murals by David Alfaro Siqueiros; a film series on the effects of the Hollywood Blacklist and FCC Decency/Obscenity Rules; a visiting artist series focusing on visual artists with informal meetings and lectures; a residency by Sweet Honey in the Rock, an internationally acclaimed a cappella ensemble steeped in the sacred music of the Black church and songs of the struggle for justice everywhere, with performances and workshops on the music of American slaves; a project on Japanese internment camps of WWII and the inmates’ creation of gardens as a response; and many other events, courses and performances.

CSULB students, faculty and staff are the targeted audiences for “The B-Word Project,” with some activities open to the general public. The College of Continuing and Professional Education will assist in creating video documentation of project activities.

“This exciting project, led by Michele Roberge and Chris Scoates, will bring together outstanding members of the CSULB faculty, staff and guests in a series of events and presentations that will be transformative for our students, faculty, staff and region,” added Don Para, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “A major benefit of this grant will be the opportunity for many of our incredible arts students to interact directly with many of the internationally known guest artists during their time on campus. The breadth and scope of this highly anticipated project will make it one of the hallmark projects in our university’s history.”

The Creative Campus Innovation Grants Program was established in January 2006 with an initial award of $1.5 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. In 2007, eight campuses were awarded one- or two-year grants totaling $1 million to undertake innovative projects that had the potential to increase awareness of the value of and expand support for integrating the performing arts into the academy and the campus community. In 2008, APAP received a renewal grant from DDCF to provide a second round of Creative Campus Innovations Grants for one- or two-year projects proposed by colleges and universities for the period of Sept. 1, 2010 through May 31, 2012.

“Arts Presenters is pleased to support the outstanding work of the performing arts program at the Carpenter Center with a Creative Campus grant and is excited about this exciting new collaboration developed through a wide-ranging set of campus and artistic partners,” said Sandra Gibson, president and CEO of APAP. “We look forward to witnessing the development of ‘The B-Word’ as the project unfolds and to sharing the progress with the field.”

Founded in 1957, APAP is the national service organization for the field of arts presenting. The organization is dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work in it. Arts Presenters has nearly 2,000 organizational members and brings nearly 4,000 performing arts professionals together from around the world at the annual APAP Conference NYC. Members range from the nation’s leading performing arts centers, civic and university performance facilities, culturally specific center and festivals, to the full spectrum of artist agencies, managers, producers, consultants and support organizations that service the field, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, wildlife conservation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. Established in 1996, the foundation supports four national grant-making programs in these areas. It also oversees three properties that were owned by Doris Duke in Hillsborough, N.J.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Newport, R.I.

–Teresa Hagen