SNAAP at IU presenting unique conference on arts training and the creative workforce

Who are the 3 million arts graduates in America? What do we know about them? What is the state of arts training in higher education today?

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project — a project of the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research in collaboration with the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University — is organizing a one-of-a-kind three-day national conference on arts training and the creative workforce.

The event, “3 Million Stories: Understanding the Lives and Careers of America’s Arts Graduates,” will take place March 7 to 9 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

The diverse group of speakers will include:

  • Lewis Black (MFA 1977, Yale School of Drama), Grammy Award-winning comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor who will be interviewed by Academy Award-winning playwright and lyricist Willie Reale.
  • Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, author of “The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City” (Princeton University Press, 2007), which has received attention in publications such as the Economist, Time, Forbes, The New Yorker, the Village Voice, National Public Radio and The New York Times.
  • Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin and advocate of accountability in higher education.
  • James Heartfield, British journalist and author of numerous acclaimed publications, including The Creativity Gap.
  • Samuel Hoi, president of Otis College of Art and Design and chair of the board of United States Artists.
  • Sunil Iyengar, director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Ann Markusen, author of numerous publications on the arts and director of the Arts Economy Initiative and the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
  • Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, authors of the path-breaking book “Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People.”
  • R. Keith Sawyer, author of 12 books, including “Group Genius” and “Explaining Creativity,” and over 80 scientific articles.

According to Steven J. Tepper, associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Public Policy and Enterprise at Vanderbilt and the conference organizer, “The conference should be required attendance for anyone who is involved in arts training and supporting artistic careers; it will also have much to offer artists, researchers and others who share a broad interest in the 21st-century creative workforce.”

Registration is now open at www.3millionstories.com. The deadline for discounted hotel accommodation is Feb. 1.

Support for this event comes from the Surdna Foundation through its leadership grant for SNAAP.

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project investigates the educational experiences and career paths of arts graduates nationally via an annual survey, and provides findings to educators, policymakers and the general public.

IU to offer free Information Visualization MOOC designed to illustrate data

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 10, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University’s Katy Börner, the Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science at the School of Library and Information Science and an international leader in information visualization, will offer a free massive open online course on the topic beginning Jan. 22.

Börner is curator of the internationally traveled Places & Space: Mapping Science exhibit and author of the Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know, published in 2010 by The MIT Press. She specializes in the study of the structure and evolution of scientific disciplines, the analysis and visualization of online activity, and the development of cyberinfrastructures for large-scale scientific collaboration and computation.

The course will run seven weeks from the start date, with a target audience of graduate students able to work three to six hours per week. Anyone interested in generating temporal, geospatial, topical or network analyses and visualizations from either personal or professional data would benefit from the course.

Personal data like bank statements, email activity and friendship networks, or business data like Twitter activity, funding statistics and return-on-investment data, can each provide the information needed to then identify trends, geospatial distributions, topical coverage and previously unrecognized informational links, Börner said.

“The visualization framework I teach and the tools that students will use in the course help answering ‘when,’ ‘where,’ ‘what’ and ‘with whom’ questions,” she said. “The resulting visualizations aim to improve daily decision-making; they are not just eye candy. One goal of the course is to empower a large audience to design insightful visualizations.”

The homepage for the Information Visualization MOOC offers an introductory video, a course schedule, biographies of Börner and the other instructors, and a registration link. Everybody who registers gains free access to the Scholarly Database (26 million paper, patent and grant records) and the Sci2 Tool (100-plus algorithms and tools).

It is one of the first MOOCs offered by IU and the first to offer an opportunity for students to work in teams with actual clients like researchers interested in understanding data patterns and trends, government agencies developing visual interfaces for data holdings, industry representatives looking to maximize return on investment, medical doctors seeking cures, and not-for-profit organizations hoping to communicate impacts and achievements.

“Data mining and visualization skills are best acquired by working on projects that make a difference,” Börner argues. “To be successful, students must care about and understand a client’s needs, become intimately familiar with the data available to address this need, and apply the best algorithms and tools to design effective workflows that render data into insight.”

Information visualization continues to broaden its reach from computer science and human-computer interaction into fields like drug discovery, financial analysis and scientific research. Later this month, Börner will attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, to give a talk titled “Visualizing What We Know” using a 26-foot-wide display wall. She will also speak on the topic “Dangerous Visualizations: Big Data Is Watching You” as part of a panel session on “Reinforcing Critical Infrastructure With Cyber Experts.”

For more information or to speak with Börner, please contact Steve Chaplin, IU Communications, at 812-856-1896 or stjchap@iu.edu.

$1,000 IU Alumni Association Scholarships Available for 33 Students

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana University Alumni Association will award 33 $1,000 scholarships this year through the IUAA Scholars program. Children of IUAA members are eligible for the awards.

The IU Alumni Association is proud to be able to offer support to the children of IUAA members,” said Debbie Lemon, deputy executive director of the IU Alumni Association.

Eligible students can obtain a 2013 scholarship application online. Applications will be accepted through March 29, and scholarship recipients will be notified by May 10.

To be eligible for one of the 33 scholarships, an applicant must be a son or daughter of an IU Alumni Association member and be a full-time, undergraduate student attending any IU campus.

In its 19 years, the IUAA Scholars program has provided $344,000 of support to IU students. “Through the loyalty of our alumni, this program will continue to grow,” Lemon said.

The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of financial need and academic achievement as determined by the Office of Student Enrollment Services. Preference will be given to students who have not received a scholarship in prior years.

Two scholarships are designated for qualifying students from each of IU’s eight campuses. The remaining scholarships will be awarded to students on an at-large basis. If there are no applicants from a particular campus, or the applicants do not meet the criteria, that campus’ scholarship will be added to the at-large scholarship pool.

Revenue from the IU Collegiate License Plate Program funds this scholarship program. In 2012, more than 48,000 plates were issued, making the IU plate the most popular specialty plate in Indiana.

To check on the status of your membership or to join the IU Alumni Association, contact Joan Hall, director of membership, at 800-824-3044.

The IU Alumni Association is dedicated to serving the university and its diverse alumni, students and friends. As one of the nation’s largest alumni organizations, serving more than 570,000 graduates worldwide, the IUAA provides many programs and services to its members, nonmember alumni and the university. For more information, call 800-824-3044.