Preparations are in full swing for the 2016 summer programs at the Accademia dell’Arte. This summer features a new program, Art and Activism, along with the CrisisArt Festival and Summer Arts. The programs will be held back-to-back-to-back to encourage students to participate in two – or all three – programs. Need another reason to spend more time in Tuscany this summer? Check out the details for the Stay A Little Longer discount in the APPLY section below.
We spent a few minutes catching up with the ADA’s Founding Director, Scott McGehee about this summer’s programs…_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What are you most excited about as you look ahead to the 2016 Summer Programs?
Personally, I am always excited to meet new students. With all of the forces working against them today, my in the future is always renewed with so many students who carry in themselves a sense of awe. It is their sense of awe that fuels my own.
In addition to Summer Arts and the CrisisArt Festival, Art and Activism, a new program, will debut this summer. What inspired the addition of this program and what do you hope the participants take away from it?
Art and Activism is an intensive course led by two artist/activists from Spain who have devised highly creative strategies for artists to decenter discourses of power that potentially open up space for a creative outpouring of humanistic impulses. We are convinced that artists can and should play an important role in helping to re-imaging a different future.
Although Art and Activism is new for the Accademia dell’Arte, it stems from a long concern for making art politically and socially relevant in a world that is descending into a global crisis. In Europe this crisis is immediately manifested in the high rates of unemployment – particularly acute in Greece and Spain, the immigration crisis, the concomitant rise in xenophobia and generally a growing legitimation crisis that resulted in a widespread political malaise.
Looking back to the 2015 Summer Programs, what was most successful? How does the Accademia plan to build on these things?
In everything we do, the emphasis is always placed on the role of collaboration and dialogue both in the creative arts and various academic fields. The division of labor that characterizes modern economic structures also characterizes the creative arts. These divisions run counter to the Renaissance idea of unity of knowledge. We always try to make links between disciplines by breaking down the hierarchies of knowledge. It is always surprising what emerges. We will continue to explore with our students modes of creation and acquisition of knowledge, not as master to apprentice, but as co-explorers with our students.
How will this year’s CrisisArt Festival compare to last year’s festival? What type of student / artist / activist would you encourage to attend?
The 2016 edition of the CrisisArt Festival will overlap with Arts and Activism, which will give a particularly strong impulse to the festival. In the past, the festival was too much of a “showcase” festival. Our objective this year is to deepen the engagement on the political and social issues of the day along with the shared experience offered by artists and activists. We are also making a stronger effort to engage more international participation.
The ideal participant for Art and Activism and the CrisisArt Festival is anyone with a passionate belief that small groups of people, when engaged in a common cause, can make a significant impact in the world. We must not forget that without the small numbers who occupied Wall Street no one would have heard of the 1%, no one would have been talking about the growing inequality in the world. A small and determined group of people with a passionate sense of justice shifted the political discourse in the west!