IMPACT 21st (Innovation, Media, Process, Arts, Collaboration and Technology for the 21st Century)

There currently exists a vibrant culture of creative colleagueship at Bates College where collaboration and innovative teaching prepare students for the future. A core component of our mission states that “…Bates is a college for coming times,” and we believe that one way to effectively accomplish this is to focus on the intersection of arts and technology.  

Leading this charge is the Bates Arts Collaborative (BAC), a committee of artists, faculty, staff, and students whose purpose is to elevate the arts on campus and in our community while advocating for the importance of experiencing and bringing the arts into our daily lives. In collaboration with the greater college, and with funding from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, the BAC is thrilled to launch IMPACT 21st (Innovation, Media, Process, Arts, Collaboration and Technology for the 21st Century) to promote new approaches to teaching and learning in the arts, support Bates faculty, students, and staff in collaborative endeavors, and build on Bates’ commitment to the transformative integration of technology and the arts. 

The arts at Bates are at a pivotal and thrilling chapter with new faculty in arts and visual culture, theater, music, dance, digital and computational studies—all of whom offer new perspectives in technology-based arts practices and education.  

IMPACT 21st will allow us to:

  • deepen our expertise through training
  • develop new courses
  • collaborate with colleagues across campus
  • coalesce our existing and aspirational infrastructures
  • enable a transformation in the arts across campus. 

Supported by the Foundation and the College, the new Immersive Media Studio will be a focal point of IMPACT 21 by fostering creative and collaborative place-based course projects that integrate the arts and technology. 

 Specifically, through IMPACT 21st we will:

  • Create an Immersive Media Studio that will serve as a center for our interchanges with curricular innovations and visiting artists (opening Fall ‘23);
  • Create new and revised courses in the arts that incorporate new technology and foster interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • Develop the capacity of faculty, staff, and students to integrate technology into the arts curriculum through workshops/trainings and artist residency programs;
  • Build upon and partner with existing emerging technology structures and curriculum at Bates that supports energy efficiency; 
  • Provide small innovation grants for students and faculty; and
  • Host a symposium on the transformative power of arts and technology.  

Impact

Immediate Outcomes:

● Create an Immersive Media Studio that will serve as a center for interchange for curricular innovation and visiting artists;

● Create new and revised courses in the arts that incorporate new technology and foster interdisciplinary collaboration;

● Train faculty, staff, and students to integrate exciting new technology into the arts curriculum through large and small workshops/trainings and artist residency programs;

● Increase the number of students who have access to new technologies in film, audio, music, and media production and courses in which to learn about these disciplines; and

● Integrate Bates’ new program in Digital and Computational Studies with the arts in a robust way.

Long-term Outcomes:

● Elevate the profile of the arts at Bates;

● Maintain relevance and best practices in the field and create new ways of practicing and learning in the arts that will attract new faculty and students;

● Realize the interdisciplinary potential of the arts and other programs/departments on campus;

● Train students who graduate as leaders in the fields of film, audio, music, media production, and visual arts;

● Create a community of practitioners among liberal arts colleges who share best practices and experiences;

● Enhance institutional investment in maintaining and renewing faculty lines in the arts.