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A Scholar By Any Other Name

By Joel Rosenberg
Arts Editor

Monday marked the kickoff of the Arts Scholars Program. Under intimidating yet cooperative skies, the Lipchitz Courtyard was populated with students, faculty, and members of the Council for the Arts who are all interested in escalating the prominence of art on campus.

Associate Provost for the Arts Alan Brody gave the introductory remarks, stating that here at MIT, "up until now, the arts have developed on their own, individually, with few exceptions." The goal of the program is to change things from now on. "What we're about is identifying a community of artists at MIT,"which Brody believes will "eventually be very important to all of MIT." By building bridges between the many creative circles here, he hopes that great things will be produced, including unique multidisciplinary projects.

Chancellor Larry Bacow preached to the choir when he said that "MIT is a very intense place, and people who don't understand this place well think of the arts as an outlet, a release. What they don't realize is the students pursue them with the same intensity and passion they pursue everything else." He told a story of an impromptu violin recital that took place in Lobby 7 after critical mass of around fifty people stopped to listen to an unaware violinist practicing in public. The story ties in well with Brody's comment that the real work of the scholars program will take place in the Coffeehouse, the dorms, the fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, and all over campus.

The scholars are a diverse bunch, from different countries (Petra Chong '99 from Singapore, Murat Kara '01 from Turkey, Joseph Kaye '99 from Paris, and Sean Sutherland '00 from St. Vincent and The Grenadines), different artistic areas (Carole Lu '99 works in clay and photography, Candice McElroy '99 plays the gamut of musical instruments, and Helen Lee '00 is the editor of Rune, MIT's literary magazine), and many different majors.

The program will expose the scholars to arts around Boston, starting with the play Gross Indecency:The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, at the Huntington Theater in Boston. Monthly dinners will also bring speakers from MIT and the professional artistic world.

Other scholars are: Blake Brasher '01; Ania Busza '99; Yu Chen '00; Janet Chieh '99; Sandy Choi '99; Jennifer K. Chung '01; Thomas Cork '00; Chris Douglas '99; Kim Eng '99; Kelly Helmuth '00; Rony Kubat '00; Christopher McEniry '00; Natalia Olchanski '00; Noah Schottenfeld '99; Shayna Smith '99; Hua-Yin Yu '00.