Curb Creative Campus at Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt, Curb embrace creative campus concept
New courses, master's program, internships and more planned

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt University will elevate creative practice on and off campus to prepare students to work with globalized markets, engage emerging technologies and navigate increasingly complex intellectual property rules through an expansive new program funded by recording industry executive Mike Curb.

The Mike Curb Creative Campus Program, administered by the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt, will affect every student on campus through new courses, faculty, internships, guest speakers and the implementation of the first national research program on creativity, the arts and higher education. A select group of students will be chosen as Undergraduate Curb Leadership Scholars and a fifth-year master's degree in creative enterprise and public leadership will be launched. This program will be open to select students from other Curb-supported colleges and universities including Belmont University; Fisk University; California State University; Daytona College and Rhodes College.

Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said that "Mike Curb's support makes Vanderbilt and Nashville a center for creativity and innovation education for the next generation."

"The Mike Curb Creative Campus Program gives Vanderbilt the opportunity to expand upon the creative relationships that Mike Curb and Vanderbilt have initiated in the past, including the Curb Youth Symphony at Blair, the Curb programs at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, the Curb-Owen relationship as well as the exciting work at the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy. We are grateful to the Curb family for their generosity and vision for Vanderbilt's future."

The themes of the initiative are inspired by the career of the Curb Center's founding donor, Mike Curb, said Bill Ivey, director of the Curb Center and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Mike has sustained Curb Records as a successful independent record company for more than four decades, reshaped the role of lieutenant governor and acting governor in the state of California and launched a generous, family-based program in philanthropy, targeting historic preservation and education in the arts," Ivey said. "By demonstrating the value of linking artistic skills and vision with work in business and government, it is Mike Curb's career that provides inspiration for the creative campus program."

In addition to existing Curb endowments at Vanderbilt, Curb has made a broad-based commitment to help fund activities of the Mike Curb Creative Campus Program for the future of the university. The Curb Center will also seek funding from other sources.

In an essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Steven Tepper, associate director of the Curb Center, challenged universities to measure the creative capabilities of their students. In 2006, Vanderbilt hosted a conference on campus creativity, which has evolved into a national movement.

"American universities need to recognize their defining role in nurturing creativity and in linking it to teaching, learning and citizenship," Tepper said. "The Curb program will establish a new relationship between students and art on Vanderbilt's campus."

Key components of the Mike Curb Creative Campus Program will be phased in over five years, beginning in the fall of 2009 with the acceptance of the first cohort of undergraduate Curb Leadership Scholars - freshman singled out at acceptance to pursue special training in creativity on campus and through residencies with government agencies and cultural industries. The Vanderbilt Visions program - which helps integrate freshmen into the university community each year - will include offerings in leadership and creativity in 2009, and a campus-wide program of guest speakers, residencies and visiting faculty will be initiated. The Curb Center will also implement the first national research project studying creativity, the arts and higher education.

The fifth-year master's degree in Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership will be launched in 2011, as will a series of month-long summer internships offering graduate and undergraduate students unique opportunities to test leadership skills through real-life work experiences with government agencies and the recording, film, and broadcasting industries. Both the graduate and undergraduate programs will feature special courses taught by Vanderbilt faculty and visiting scholars, including new faculty recruited specifically for the Curb program.

"I am pleased to be involved as Vanderbilt and the Curb Center launch this historic enterprise," Curb said. "The work of Bill Ivey and Steven Tepper at the Curb Center under the guidance of Nick Zeppos has already had a ripple effect across the country. With these new programs, we aim for nothing less than a transformation of the way the arts interact with government and colleges and universities. It will be a worthwhile journey for all of us, especially the students who will go on to lead further innovation."


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