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CCE Mini Grant Reflection by Nicole Cheng: Creative Time Summit

This project is supported by funding from a Middlebury College Community Engagement Mini-Grant.

In order to better understand different ways artists have tackled social justice issues from the upcoming November elections in the US to the crisis in South Sudan, I attended a conference in Washington D.C. organized by the non-profit, Creative Time. Through a series of lectures, performances and panels, I was able to meet and listen to such a diverse range of people tackling the various problems in our world with vivid imagination.

Vaginal Davis was one of the most memorable performances that I saw where instead of explaining their work through a lecture. They did a performance piece which spoke volumes more. It really reminded me of how the conventional format of a conference could be subverted and that other means of expression were just as valid.  Anna Hutsol, author of the women’s movement in Ukraine FEMEN was also really inspiring. Instructing women to protest topless in the face of injustice was something I had never seen before and even  though I was prepared to witness and listen to pretty absurd ideas, the courage of this simple action was so provocative and inspiring that it really made me rethink how vulnerable people are willing to be  in putting their bodies on the line.

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From listening to co-founder Alicia Garza from #BlackLivesMatter to Sudanese cartoonist Khalid Albaih countless people amazed me over the three days. I eventually found myself at a discussion panel on the intersections of art and science and with the director of the National Academy of Sciences advocate for the Arts and Humanities in addition to STEM felt like these two worlds that I have been wrestling to be seen as more fluid between each other were finally coming together. Going to this conference gave me more motivation to use the imagination and play that art can activate in advocating for issues that I care about and with this experience, I hope that I too can show others on campus how powerful the arts can be.

You can check out more about the speakers who were at the event at this link below:

http://creativetime.org/summit/

SCB is Hiring!

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Are you interested in joining the CCE as a student staff member? SCB is hiring a coordinator to begin in late December or early January and serve at least through December 2017. SCB coordinators manage the finances and leadership development of SCB leaders and serve as a liaison between student leaders and Student Activities. SCB coordinators work four paid office hours per week in the CCE and run monthly meetings for SCB leaders. Students from any class year and experience level can apply. Questions? Email scboard@middlebury.edu.

Download the application here: scb-coordinator-application-2017-2018

Apply by 10:00 pm on Tuesday, November 29th

Why Trump Won: It Was Fundamental!

In life, they say, timing is everything.  When I began doing my election-themed talks in late summer, after it was clear who the general election candidates were, Hillary Clinton consistently held a lead in the various aggregate polling results, such this one by Huffington Post, by about 5%-8%. Nonetheless, I assured my audiences that there […]

The Most Nationalized House Election Since Eisenhower?

It has become fashionable of late, particularly among liberal pundits, to argue that the future of the Republican Party depends on its leaders severing all connections with Trump and his movement.  For a number of reasons that I will discuss in future posts, I think this is profoundly stupid advice for Republicans to follow.  But […]

LiM’s Language and Culture Teaching Institute

Eleven local secondary teachers gathered on campus Tuesday, November 11, for a day of professional development focusing on intercultural competence across content areas and the teaching and learning of world languages. In addition to peer-led workshops and activities, Professor Erik Bleich and Chaplains Naila Baloch and Beau Scurich co-facilitated a workshop on identifying and addressing Islamophobia; and Juniata College Professor Amy Frazier-Yoder led a workshop on using cultural and historical role plays in the classroom.  Middlebury College participants in the Language in Motion program joined the teachers over a delicious lunch. This is an annual event hosted by the Language in Motion program.
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Why New Hampshire Is Trending Trump – and Why It Likely Doesn’t Matter

For most of this fall in my election talks, I have argued that the most plausible road to victory for Donald Trump runs through New Hampshire. Other seem to agree as, apparently, does Trump; media reports indicate he is scheduled to spend election eve in Manchester, at the Southern New Hampshire University arena which is […]