october 2018 newsletter
Congratulations to our first- year students who have completed their first month of college! We also thank our outstanding peer mentors and RA’s who have returned for another year and have worked very hard to provide a welcoming and supportive experience so far this semester. We hope that you have made wonderful connections here at Living Arts and that you continue to enjoy your Michigan experience.
Living Arts has had an exciting month, with new projects, ideas, and events filling our community with creativity and innovation. We look forward to seeing the growth of our new community as the year progresses.
This newsletter will recap some of the highlights of the past month as well as introduce new and past Living Arts students. Our newsletter serves as a connection between the current community and our members, supporters, and alumni. We hope that you enjoy this insight into our amazing community.
Important Community Dates
Sunday, October 21st:
Friday, November 2nd: Living Arts Haunted House, 6-9pm
Sunday, November 11th:
Sunday, December 9th:
Welcome week is one of the busiest and most exciting times for Living Arts! Our peer mentors arrived to campus early to attend training sessions to better help them prepare for their roles as leaders within the community. Just a few days later, the incoming students arrived and participated in 2 full days of experiences designed to help them acclimate to the university.
We kicked off our semester with an ice cream social that allowed first-year students to meet their peer mentors for the first time. After this introduction, the students met the Living Arts and ArtsEngine staff and received an inspiring, warm welcome from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Interim Dean, Professor Mark Clague.
Before arriving to campus, Living Arts students completed a summer reading, Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity. Each year, students read a book that addresses an aspect of the creative process that they can explore further during welcome week in their mentorship groups.
Following this activity, Living Arts welcomed back members of the Mosaic Film Experience who lead our students on a workshop titled, “Creative Storytelling and Filmmaking”. Our guests gave a presentation on the basics of filmmaking and utilizing specific filming techniques to assist with presenting engaging stories.
Afterwards, the first-year students, lead by their peer mentors, created short films that they later presented at a film party on Sunday night. This experience provided a great opportunity for first-year students and mentors to get to know each other through collaboration.
The first week on campus proved to be full of useful events and wonderful opportunities to introduce our students to Michigan and Living Arts!
"Making Meaning from Movement" with Amy Chavasse
The first All-Community Meeting for the fall semester took place on September 16th, led by guest artist Amy Chavasse, Associate Professor of Dance in the School of Music Theatre and Dance. Her workshop, “Making Meaning from Movement” was a great way to start the semester. Through individual and group dance activities, our students learned valuable lessons about the way in which the mind, body and senses are utilized in the creative process.
Rather than strictly a dance workshop, students explore how movement and performance can feed into creative expression and into other ways of thinking. This workshop is much loved by our students as it addresses an approach to the creative process that most would not have had the opportunity to experience.
October's All Community Meeting:
"Fun and Feedback: Making Games and Solving Problems with the Iterative Design Process" with Austin Yarger
Austin is a Lecturer of Game Development in the University of Michigan’s Department of Computer Science Engineering, co-founder of the International Game Developers Association (Ann Arbor Chapter), and President of Arbor Interactive, a local game, and software development firm. He acquired a Bachelors and Masters degree from the University of Michigan in 2011 and 2018, respectively. His research interests include non-gaming applications of game development tools, technologies, and techniques. A long-time hobbyist game developer, Austin got his taste of professional game development in the summer of 2014 with an internship at Maxis (Electronic Arts) where he helped engineer 2015’s top-selling computer game, The Sims 4.
This 2-3 hour lecture explores the widely-applicable, swiss-army-knife "iterative design process" in the context of game development. Students will collaborate within multi-disciplinary teams to develop their very own card and video games!
Community Member Spotlights
Ren Monroe - Living Arts Mentor
College of Engineering
John Roselli - Living Arts Mentee
School of Music, Theatre & Dance
John Roselli, a trombone performance major hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina taking 18 credit hours and practicing his instrument 2-3 hours per day, considers Living Arts to be his support system. He values the tight-knit community that he easily connected with on the very first day of Welcome Week which is extremely important at a school as large as Michigan, “...Living Arts has helped me get a foothold on things and the community has been something essential to have”.
Roselli spent his senior year of high school in the University of North Carolina School of Arts (UNCSA) High School program, where students mix academics with immersive training in the arts. UNCSA introduced him to what an interdisciplinary space looks like. While there, he collaborated with a pianist/organist/composer, a mezzo sopranist, a visual artist, an actor, and a contemporary dancer; together they composed “Chant du Coeur” (“Song of the Heart”). The parallels between this experience with UNCSA and the mission of Living Arts to be perfectly aligned.
When asked about how Living Arts has impacted his time at Michigan so far, John said, “We all have a common interest, either arts or engineering, but usually both, that we can all bond over… I think I’ve really found a home here, and that’s important to me.”
John wants to continue exploring interdisciplinary collaboration and using Living Arts as a home base to launch those ideas. From Living Arts, he wants to come away with an even deeper understanding of what the different disciplines mean, “You can get closer to understanding what different people in different disciplines are doing each and every day through a community like this”.