Chapter 14

The Art of Higher Learning: The Creative Campus and the Evolving Phenomenon of University Arts Engagement

By Eric Oberstein

ABSTRACT: Following the 104th American Assembly conference in 2004, colleges and universities re-conceptualized the role of the arts in higher education, looking to the arts as a means of engaging their communities in a cross-campus, interdisciplinary fashion. Various currents facilitated this new momentum, including shifts in higher education goals at the turn of the Millennium, the emergence of funding entities interested in embedding the arts into the life of the academy, the evolution of the performing arts presenter into active producer and educator, and the development of university-based strategic planning initiatives around the arts.

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