Announcing Creative GC: Art and Science Connect

The Graduate Center announces the launch of Creative GC: Art and Science Connect, an initiative that explores the overlap between art and science and the ways in which they stimulate creativity. Made possible through the generosity and vision of Graduate Center Foundation Board Trustee Amabel James and the Al Held Foundation, Creative GC will bring scientists and artists together for dynamic public discussions and will promote interdisciplinary research and teaching by Graduate Center scholars.

“The creativity needed to solve the world’s problems rests on our ability to bridge artificial gaps between the arts and sciences,” said Graduate Center Interim President James Muyskens. “The Graduate Center has been at the forefront of such interdisciplinary collaboration and open-ended exploration. We are deeply grateful to Amie James and the Al Held Foundation for supporting Creative GC, which builds on this collaboration and promotes new ways of thinking.”

A centerpiece of Creative GC is funding for a dozen doctoral student research fellowships. These grants of $5,000 each will support students across The Graduate Center whose research explores topics at the intersection of art and science.

Another vital part of Creative GC is its “Art Science Connect” public programs series, which this year will focus on the latest research in neuroscience and the ways it connects to and inspires the arts and humanities. 

“Watching my own children learn showed me how similar the scientific and artistic thought processes can be,” said James. “In both, a certain boldness and risk-taking are required; artists and scientists need to muck around and experiment. An important spark for creativity is collaboration.  The Graduate Center's buildings, 365 Fifth Avenue and the magnificent Advanced Science Research Center at St. Nicholas Terrace, were designed to promote interaction among people in different fields.  The combination of talent, diversity, and collaboration at The Graduate Center makes me confident that the Creative GC program will thrive.”

“As a center of advanced research with renowned faculty, The Graduate Center is a natural hub for interdisciplinary conversations on art and science,” said Daniel Belasco, executive director of the Al Held Foundation. “Both fields of knowledge and experience production have much to learn from each other. The Al Held Foundation is supporting Creative GC and its exploration of art and neuroscience, in the spirit of painter Al Held’s lifelong interest in formal complexity to visualize unseen scientific truths.”

Creative GC will be directed by Helen Koh. She previously produced cultural programs at the Asia Society, organized sponsored research studios at Rhode Island School of Design, and taught at Columbia University. She received her doctorate from the University of Chicago.

She is joined by a working group whose members highlight The Graduate Center’s interdisciplinary focus and strengths in areas including philosophy, art history, music, and neuroscience.

Creative GC working group members include:

Eliot Bates, Assistant Professor of Music, The Graduate Center
Joshua Brumberg, Dean for the Sciences, The Graduate Center, and
Professor of Neuroscience in Psychology, Queens College
Peter Eckersall, Professor of Theatre and Performance, The Graduate Center
Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at The Graduate Center and faculty member of the Structural Biology Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center of The Graduate Center
Aubrey Knox, Ph.D. Candidate in Art History, The Graduate Center
Barbara Montero, Professor of Philosophy, The Graduate Center
David Olan, Professor of Music and Associate Provost, The Graduate Center
Jesse Prinz, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies, The Graduate Center
Tony Ro, Presidential Professor of Psychology and Biology and the Director of the M.S. Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, The Graduate Center
Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie, Ph.D. Candidate in Music Composition, The Graduate Center
Helena Shaskevich, Ph.D. Candidate in Art History, The Graduate Center
Keith Wilson, Director of the Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center

Learn more about Creative GC, including planned public programs and available fellowships.

Published by the Office of Communications and Marketing

Submitted on: FEB 5, 2020

Category: GCstories | General GC News | Giving | Grants