New College initiative flourishes along Florida’s creative coast

Funded by a five-year $750,0000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New College: Connecting the Arts and Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast seeks to foster deeper understanding of the arts and humanities through new programs at New College and with local arts organizations and the Cross-College Alliance. Through the expansion of existing public programs and a new series of open seminars, the local community is invited to hear from — and speak with — faculty scholars and artists who are renowned in their fields.

2018/2019 Season Events


NOW Ensemble and Sarasota Contemporary Dance

Friday August 31, 2018 6-7:30 p.m. College Hall Music Room
Meet and dance with the choreographer of “Dreamfall” a collaboration between Sarasota Contemporary Dance and the NOW Ensemble. This class welcomes observers as well as movers to join in and experience the beauty and strength of Xiao-Xuan Yang Dancigers.


Wednesday September 12, 2018 6 p.m., College Hall Music Room. Public Lecture, Innovators of American Dance: Martha Graham. Presented by Peter Sparling, former principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor of Dance, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Dance at University of Michigan; and Peggy Lyman, former principal dancer and current company regisseur with the Martha Graham Dance Company.

Friday September 14, 2018, 1-2:20 p.m. College Hall Music Room. Master Class with Peggy Lyman, former principal dancer and current company regisseur with the Martha Graham Dance Company — Open for public viewing and limited community participation (some dance background and waiver required).

Saturday September 15, 2018, 1-2:30 p.m. College Hall Music Room. Join NOW Ensemble Artistic Director, composer, and electric guitarist Mark Dancigers on an exploration of ideas about music and dance. Dancigers will use concepts and techniques from his collaboration with Sarasota Contemporary Dance “Dreamfall,” and a new world premiere work, to create a participatory and informative audience experience.

Asian Film and Talk Series:

Thursday September 27, 2018 (room and time TBD)
Asian Film Series: “Under the Dome” (2015; by CHAI Jing), introduced by Dr. Feng Hao from USF-SM (Fang-yu Li, Jing Zhang)

New College is partnering with Ringling College and Ringling Museum to present films by Japanese filmmaker Makoto Shinkai (“The Voices of a Distant Star,” “The Garden of Words” and “Your Name”), and Chinese documentary producers Chai Jing (“Under the Dome”), Wang Jiuliang (“Plastic China”), Yung Chang (“Up the Yangtze”), Chi Po-lin (“Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above”) and Zhang Zanbo (“The Road”). The Asian Film Series is made possible through a partnership with the Mellon Foundation, Ringling Museum, Ringling College of Art and Design, and the Elling Eide Center.


Asian Film Series: “Plastic China” (2016; by Wang Jiuliang) Date, Time and Location TBD

New Music New College

This year the Mellon Foundation will be a supporting partner of this annual concert series celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Performers include So Percussion, Inter/Action, Ensemble Dale Niente with George Lewis, Eliza Ladd, and Wet Ink Ensemble.

Saturday October 6, 2018 8 p.m. at Club Sudkaoff, New Music New College: So Percussion.

Campus Conversations
Thursday October 18, 2018: New College Cook Hall Living Room 5:30-7 p.m.

New College will host a series of seminar-style conversations around themes and topics taught by our own faculty experts. Seminars have limited seating so advanced registration is encouraged. A changing line-up of teachers and students invite you to become part of the conversation, to think out loud in the tradition of humanistic discovery, and to learn from each other.

Game-Jam is a workshop where participants are invited, working with a theme and following a presentation, to learn a digital tool for online-game development, “Twine,” and begin developing a simple online computer game narrative. Narrative storylines and choices are key components of game development, and the workshop focuses on trying out a simple branching narrative digital tool. No experience necessary but a laptop is.

Thursday October 25, 2018 5:30-10 p.m. Game Jam: THEME: It’s Alive!: Avatars of Frankenstein’s Monster


Asian Film Series: “The Road” (2015; by Zhang Zanbo) Date, Time and Location TBD

New Music New College:
Saturday November 10, 2018, 8 p.m. at The Mildred Sainer Pavilion.  Music of Mark Dancigers

Campus Conversations:
Thursday November 15, 2018 5:30-7: p.m.  New College Cook Hall Living Room


Asian Film Series: “Up the Yangtze”: (2007; by Yung Chang) Date, Time and Location TBD

Narrative Non-Fiction Storytelling Workshop (Maria Vesperi):
Thursday December 6, 2018. Time and Location TBD

This workshop brings specialists in nonfiction writing into a discussion of how they collect their material and craft vivid stories for books, newspapers and magazines.

The program is organized and moderated by New College Professor of Anthropology Maria D. Vesperi, a former working journalist and a trustee of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies from 1995-2015. Recipient of the 2017 American Anthropological Association Anthropology in Media Award, she is co-editor of the collection Anthropology off the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing, and executive coordinating editor of Anthropology Now and, a journal and website dedicated to making anthropological writing accessible to wider audiences. This interactive workshop is free and open to the public — the only requirement is an interest in good stories and how they are told.

Seeking Project Proposals

Submit a proposal for a project consistent with the grant’s priorities on inter-institutional collaboration, public access and outreach, and the development of sustainable programs in the arts and humanistic disciplines.

See Previous Mellon Events Here.

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additional connections

New Music New College

New Music New College (NMNC) is an extension of the music program at New College that presents five programs of contemporary, avant-garde and experimental music each year.

Read more here

Public Archaeology Lab (PAL)

The New College Public Archaeology Lab (NCPAL) is committed to facilitating education, outreach, and the study of archaeology within a broader anthropological and interdisciplinary context.

Read more here

Previous Mellon Grant Events

A list of past events brought to you by “New College: Connecting the Arts and Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast.”

Read more here