UGA students attend a2ru Emerging Creatives Summit
The Willson Center a2ru research cluster supported participation in a2ru’s 2022 Emerging Creatives Student Summit, held in Washington, D.C. early in March. Graduate students Meredith Emery (Art) and Amit Kaushik (Anthropology) represented UGA during the three-day event themed, “Learning in Liminal Spaces: Transformative Visions for the 21st Century.”
UGA is a member institution of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), a national consortium that advances the full range of arts-integrative research, curricula, programs, and creative practice to acknowledge, articulate, and expand the vital role of higher education in our global society.
Twenty-eight students from diverse backgrounds and institutions worked in collaborative groups to reimagine learning experiences. The summit featured presentations and mentorship from a2ru leaders and guests including Patricia Bou (CannonDesign), Andrew Kim (Steelcase), and Ashley Molese (Smithsonian Institution).
The UGA students benefited from the opportunity to network with peers and to expand their own highly interdisciplinary practices; Meredith Emery is a graduate assistant in interdisciplinary arts research working with Ideas for Creative Exploration, and Amit Kaushik is part of the Integrative Conservation PhD. program with the Center for Integrative Conservation Research.
Kaushik collaborated with peers studying design, cognitive engineering, music, and virtual reality to create a VR experience of a tree’s root system. For Kaushik’s group, the project represented “how different disciplines are connected, quite like the branches of a plant, but have a lot in there, which needs cross-cultural communication. We think it’s a matter of acknowledging these depths and appreciating differences.”
Emery’s cohort considered how they could document the network of knowledge and resource sharing that emerged within their group during the summit. They created a zine project with practical information about subjects ranging from urban agriculture and group theatre to the history of chair design. Emery noted that the summit “provided an opportunity for me to absorb and practice new methods for engaging interdisciplinary group work… within our group, we witnessed our own small network of knowledge and resource sharing emerge over the course of 72 hours, and I was thankful to participate in what became a revelatory, transient learning experience.”