Welcome to the March 2021 issue of ‘Innovatus’

Innovatus featured image

Innovatus featured image

Welcome to the March 2021 issue of ‘Innovatus,’ a special issue of YFile devoted to teaching and learning at York University. This month, ‘Innovatus’ explores some of the exciting innovations happening in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD).

Will Gage
Will Gage

I think one of the areas most impacted by the pandemic has been the fine arts because of its collaborative approach, strong focus on experiential education and the sheer physicality required to hone skills in areas such as film production, music, dance and theatre. And yet, AMPD has thrived. Faculty, staff and students have discovered new ways to develop their art while embracing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In her eloquent letter to the community, AMPD Dean Sarah Bay-Cheng offers insight into this ingenuity, creativity and emphasis, and she illustrates how the school’s focus on great art, media, performance and design is for the greater good.

Dean Bay-Cheng’s words are exemplified by IBPOC students (Indigenous, Black and People of Colour) in AMPD who have formed a new student association. They recognized the need for an association that would work for more diversity in the school while at the same time offering a way for IBPOC students to collaborate on projects. Another terrific story that illustrates this focus on ingenuity showcases the work of graduate students and how they’ve found ways to transform their art during a pandemic.

I am also proud of the Cross-Campus Capstone Course, or C4, which is featured in this issue of ‘Innovatus.’ C4 was first developed with funding from the Academic Innovation Fund and a collaboration between AMPD Professor Danielle Robinson and Lassonde School of Engineering Professor Franz Newland. Students taking part in the summer offering of C4 will be tackling a key issue arising out of the pandemic – the need for year-round availability of community space. This is important work because people living in tiny condominiums and apartments in urban environments have been deeply affected by the confines imposed by the pandemic.

And finally, I enjoyed the feature an online series of workshops and webinars for professors and course directors. It has led to the creation of a community that stretches across all the artistic disciplines within AMPD.

There’s so much to read in this issue and I know that you will find the stories to be compelling and thought provoking. Please continue to let me know what you think about the stories we publish in ‘Innovatus.’

Featured in the March 2021 issue of ‘Innovatus’

Dean’s letter: Learning how much is possible even in the most trying of circumstances
In a letter to the community, Dean Sarah Bay-Cheng writes that even amid all the recent and ongoing challenges associated with the pandemic, there is a growing sense of optimism that collectively, we might be able to work together not only to adapt to these changes already in motion, but also to use this unusual moment in history to create a better future.

C4 crew creates an exciting, interdisciplinary summer experience for students
If the Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom (C4) piqued your curiosity, but you’ve been wary of committing to a two-semester project, rejoice: C4, the summer edition, is here. The challenge the student team will be addressing was inspired by the pandemic. The C4 students will be working with the MaRS Discovery District to look at how to make seasonal community spaces available year-round.

Grad students share challenges and successes of creation during the pandemic
Creative Shifts proved that creativity is alive and well at the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD), despite the challenges of the pandemic. The November 2020 event brought together graduate students from across AMPD to share stories of transforming their research and creation projects in response to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Creating a community for IBPOC artists
Students in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design are working to create a new association to represent the needs of student creators who are Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPOC). The new IBPOC Association is set to bloom this fall.

AMPD seminars more than ‘Remotely Interesting’
‘Remotely Interesting’ is a series of online workshops that were initially intended to assist faculty with the transition to online course delivery. The series led to the creation of a community that stretched across all the artistic disciplines within the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design.

‘Innovatus’ is produced by the Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning in partnership with Communications & Public Affairs.

I extend a personal invitation to you to share your experiences in teaching, learning, internationalization and the student experience through the ‘Innovatus’ story form, which is available at tl.apps01.yorku.ca/machform/view.php?id=16573.

Will Gage
Associate Vice-President, Teaching & Learning