JCA connects students with new core

The Jordan College of Arts’ core curriculum is evolving in order to increase student awareness of the many forms of art that are taught within the rooms of Lilly Hall.

The changes began rolling out with this year’s freshman class as a pilot course and will continue to trail the class of 2016 as they move toward graduation.

Michelle Jarvis, associate dean for the Jordan College of Arts, said the curriculum additions are twofold and consist of an arts core for all JCA majors.

The first phase consists of the pilot class JC110, or Jordan College First Year Experience, in which all current freshmen are enrolled.  In this class, “new students will explore the interconnectedness of the arts through observation and attendance of art, dance, music and theater events,” Jarvis said.

The second phase will be a similarly structured course to be taken during the students’ third year.

“Details of the course are under construction,” Jarvis said.  “The focus upon interconnectedness of the arts will continue.”

Junior music education major James Caleca said that he was concerned that having such requirements as a freshman might have seemed overwhelming, especially the portion of the course that involves leaving Butler to attend events.

He said that during his first year, he did try to see as many interdisciplinary performances as possible but tended to stick to performances given at Butler.

All JCA students will now be required to attend at least four approved arts events occurring within the larger Indianapolis area annually, in addition to the First Year Experience course, Joy Rogers, secretary for the music department, said.

This requirement takes effect immediately for all current JCA students.

Overlap will be allowed between the requirements; event attendance for the First Year Experience course can count toward the larger Arts Event Attendance requirement.

Jarvis said the goal of the curriculum development was to provide JCA students with  “the opportunity to collaborate, build their own voices in the arts and, perhaps, develop new ways to share their artistry in the future.”

“The more experiences we encounter, the richer we become as artists ourselves,” Jarvis said.  “These requirements allow students to become engaged in the arts that surround their own discipline, enriching each student’s understanding of the arts holistically.

“We have a bright hope for the future of this development for the Jordan College students.”

Marcy Thornsberry, senior theatre major, said she understands the value of networking outside Butler after working in and attending performances throughout the Indianapolis area, despite the stress of an added requirement.

“If we’re more involved with organizations in downtown Indianapolis, hopefully they’ll be more involved with us,” she said.

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