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Skidmore College

Celebrating the Skidmore Mind

March 29, 2013

skidgenuity image

A series of 18 lectures, performances and exhibits will spotlight creative work in areas as diverse as business, ecology, computer science, and the arts.

Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are the common themes in SkidGenuity, a series of 18 lectures, performances and exhibits that starts Tuesday, April 2, and runs through Friday, April 12.

A celebration of the Skidmore Mind, the series will spotlight creative work in areas as diverse as business, ecology, computer science, and the arts, and bring to the campus 20 Skidmore alumni and parents as lecturers and mentors.

To launch the series, the College has enlisted one of the nation’s leading experts on innovation and creativity: Robert Root-Bernstein, a scientist, humanist and artist at Michigan State University who has written such books as Discovering: Inventing and Solving Problems at the Frontiers of Science (1989) and Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of The World’s Most Creative People (1999).

Root-Bernstein — who also will lecture at SUNY Adirondack during his visit — will speak on Modern Leonardos: Artist-Scientists and What They Tell Us About Educating for Innovation in a free lecture Tuesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in Davis Auditorium.

“Many people maintain that knowledge has become so specialized that Renaissance individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci are no longer possible,” he says. “Not only are they possible, they exist, unrecognized, in large numbers and are, like their Renaissance forebears, responsible for many important modern inventions and discoveries. Understanding how such modern Leonardos work can tell us important things about educating for innovation.”

That message surely will resonate with the seven students who since last fall have been inventing new businesses and are now poised to compete in the final round of the Third Annual Kenneth A. Freirich Business Competition. The first, second, and third-place winners in the competition — which will take place Friday, April 12, at 2:30 p.m. in the Payne Room of the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery — will share $50,000 in cash and business services.

The creation of new businesses also will be the focus for Paula Wagner when she delivers Entrepreneurship and Entertainment as the annual F. William Harder Lecture on Friday, April 5, at 6 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium. An elite member of the entertainment industry who has worked as a talent agent, film producer, and studio executive, Wagner is currently developing films, theater, and television programming through her company, Chestnut Ridge Productions (CRP). Under the CRP banner, Wagner produced the Broadway theatrical revival of the Tony Award-winning play The Heiress, starring Jessica Chastain and David Strathairn. Wagner is the mother of Zachary, Class of 2010.

Among other presentations in the series:

  • Who Are You?: A conversation about race Wednesday, April 3, led by Kip Fulbeck, a pioneering artist, author, and filmmaker who deals with issues of multiracial identity;

  • Careers That Make a Difference: An April 4 panel in which seven alumni discuss ways to make a difference through work;

  • The Future of Interactivity: A two-part program April 9 in which four Skidmore alumni show how they are combining art, computer programming and entrepreneurship in amazing new games, creative works, and advertising on the Web and on mobile platforms;

  • Ecological Design: A lecture April 11 by John Todd, a pioneer in the emerging field of ecological engineering, with a specialty in food production and living systems for water purification;

  • How to Raise an Ox: An April 8 lecture by RPI Professor John M. Koller on the significance in Zen of the 10 Oxherding Pictures and how the Yoga, Daoist, and Zen traditions come together in their attempts to explain how we can become fully and authentically ourselves;

  • Remembering Fictions: Our Own and Others’ Constructions: An April 10 presentation by two leading psychologists — Alan Scoboria of Windsor University and Elizabeth Marsh of Duke University — on intriguing research into sources of memory confusions in our everyday lives.

Highlights in the arts will include:

  • Computer Science Art Show: An April 3 exhibit of images created by computer science students with just eight weeks of programming experience; 
  • The Mythic Figure: An exhibition of works by sculptors William Tucker and Ed Smith and painter Pamela Avril, three contemporary artists who take inspiration from classical mythology. The show’s opening reception is April 4, and the artists will discuss their work April 9;
  • An Evening with the Ballets Russes: Performances April 5, 6 and 7 by Skidmore ballet and modern dance students and the Skidmore Orchestra of three famous ballets from Diaghilev's Ballets Russes;
  • Faculty Recital by pianist Pola Baytelman: An April 11 concert featuring works by Scarlatti and Mozart performed on the Anton Walter fortepiano, along with compositions by Schubert, Crumb, Ginastera, and Mendelssohn;
  • Dance Department Senior Capstone Concert: An April 12 program featuring capstone projects by Skidmore dance majors in the Class of 2013;
  • Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The spring mainstage theater production, directed by Professor Carolyn Anderson, opens April 12.

For the full SkidGenuityschedule, click here

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