Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Online magazine aims to elevate discussion about arts in education, public life

Amid the pressing need to cultivate and pursue creativity in all aspects of American life, U-M has developed an innovative Web site, Montage, with the goal of provoking a new way of appreciating the power and relevance of the arts.

Featured in the premiere issue of Montage are a profile of composer Michael Daugherty (above), professor at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and Tiertza Even (below), associate professor in the School of Art & Design.
(Photos by Michigan Productions and Frank Provenzano)

“We embrace the arts as an important component of learning that stimulates creativity in any field of study,” says President Mary Sue Coleman. “For students and faculty, we offer more professional programs in the arts than any other major research university. We collaborate across all disciplines, with artists and scientists, poets and doctors exploring new ways of understanding our world.”

Updated frequently, Montage features cultural news, faculty profiles, think pieces, student stories, and a means to share and comment on stories through the latest social media. From business to education to politics to art, the multimedia Web site covers faculty, staff, students and members of the extended university community collaborating in creative projects and engaged in diverse forms of expression.

“Montage aims to make a difference in the way people think about art, and how creativity can be essential to their lives,” says Bryan Rogers, dean of the School of Art & Design. “The wide range of stories and issues on the Web site offers a way to present relationships among people working on similar subjects and themes. Until now, they might not have realized a connection.”

The current issue of Montage features:

• A look at how the university is responding to the challenge of the state’s fledgling film industry, including a timely essay on why Michigan’s film tax credit must be preserved.

• Information about how the digital revolution fundamentally is changing university libraries and presses, including a look at how those changes are shaping 21st-century literature and reading habits.

• Faculty profiles of Tiertza Even, a video artist whose work presents a meditation on the personal changes needed to bring peace to the West Bank, and an insider’s look at Michael Daugherty, one of the most performed living composers in America.

• A feature on why U-M has become the preeminent training ground for Broadway performers and producers; and, the story of the university’s long history of teaching dance.

In addition to a range of arts stories, Montage includes an easy online navigation through U-M’s many arts programs, and links to events and concert calendars.

In upcoming months, Montage will examine connections among the arts, current events and pressing social and political issues. The aim is to explore how thinking creatively can illuminate issues and dilemmas across the disciplines.

If you have a story idea or are interested in contributing to Montage, please contact Frank Provenzano at fproven@umich.edu.