During times like these, we are reminded of how art can connect, comfort, and challenge us. I saw this power on Zoom as Duke students told incoming first-years about our campus arts culture during orientation. I see it in the eyes of our faculty as they teach music safely outdoors, distanced, and masked. I hope as you review 2019-2020 in the arts, you are energized by this reminder that despite the circumstances, art connects us to our shared humanity.
2019-2020 marked Scott Lindroth's final year as vice provost for the arts—and, as you’ll see, it was a strong finish to his accomplishments! Our key program initiatives, including the American Ballet Theatre multi-year residency, have been reinvented for the online or hybrid experience as we protect our community from COVID-19.
In 2019, an arts planning group convened by Duke University President Vincent E. Price recommended the vice provost for the arts position be made full time to implement and further develop the university’s strategy in the performing and visual arts. In the coming months and years, I intend to transform collaboration and deepen our regional partnerships.
Duke Arts is positioned to be a leader in reimagining and restoring arts and culture. A clear vision is more important now than ever. With your support, our boldest dreams are possible.
Vice Provost for the Arts
Director of the Jazz Program
Professor of the Practice of Music
“During the pandemic, the world—like Duke—has changed. Yet our arts community has never been more resilient—nor more vital. While our venues may now be closed, Duke is responding with new ways to connect artists with audiences. We are looking forward to being able to gather once more to experience art together, in person.”
President, Duke University
Academic Art Programs
Undergraduate & graduate degrees, minors, & certificates
Student Arts Groups
Visiting Artists Supported by Duke Arts
(Sep 1, 2019–Aug 31, 2020)
Performances in Duke Theaters
(Sep 1, 2019–Mar 10, 2020)
Online Arts Events
(Mar 10–Sep 1, 2020)
Duke Chapel carillon also streamed daily
Under the direction of Duke Arts and with a new director of DukeCreate in place, this workshop program expands in 2019–2020 to serve a total of 1,764 students, staff, and faculty in 165 workshops taught by 48 instructors.A Look Back at 5 Years of DukeCreate
Scott Lindroth, vice provost for the arts, announced that he will step down June 30, 2020, from his current role to return full time to teaching in the Department of Music. Provost Sally Kornbluth appoints search committee to find Lindroth's successor.
The 10th annual Duke Entertainment, Media, & Arts Network Weekend gathered 400 students, 250 alumni, and 50 faculty for workshops, panel discussions, keynote presentations, and social events in the Rubenstein Arts Center and the new Karsh Alumni and Visitor Center.In Their Own Words: Celebrating a Decade of DEMAN
The Rubenstein Arts Center is a catalyst for creativity and artistic exploration. The flexible arts project program provided support (funding, space, marketing, and technical assistance) for 17 Duke students, faculty, and visiting artists in 2019-2020. The program funds working residencies, exhibitions, and interactive installations.
Four two-hour Saturday workshops offered an in-depth experience to 12 students.
The Ruby hosted a Duke Performances residency with many layers: the world premiere of a commission, Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever; public talks and class visits; and a supporting installation in the Murthy Agora, Radio Haïti-Inter: Three Decades of Resistance.
The third year of this collaboration with Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Duke Alumni paired eight students with professional mentors to develop projects in creative writing, film, music, and visual arts.James Robinson ‘20 is a Student Academy Awards Finalist
With live events on pause in response to the pandemic, Duke Arts supports the Duke Performances livestream series, the Durham Arts Council artist relief fund, gives funding for studio art faculty to mail supplies to students, and launches the Art and Artists are Essential campaign. DEMAN and DukeCreate begin online programming.How Do You Teach Art & Collaborate Remotely?
Year two of this wide-ranging partnership between Duke University and ABT, led by Duke Performances, was cut short by the coronavirus crisis weeks before Giselle was due to open at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Before March, three master classes were taught in the Rubenstein Arts Center by ABT, the ABT Studio Company held open repertory rehearsals, and Stefanie Batten Bland developed new work in collaboration with Duke students and local dancers.
Scott Lindroth’s 13-year tenure as Duke’s first vice provost for the arts concluded in June 2020. Looking back, Lindroth reflects on the many relationships, partnerships, and commitments that elevated the arts on campus.Duke’s Chief Arts Advocate Reflects on 13 Years of Momentum
Duke Arts administers the Benenson Award in the Arts for the first time (the award was previously housed in Undergraduate Research Support), giving students and Class of 2020 alumni meaningful support for summer artistic development, despite many original plans being canceled due to COVID-19.
John Brown, director of the Duke University Jazz Program and professor of the practice of music, is named vice provost for the arts. “One of my main missions will be to enable our artists and arts organizations to unite us as human beings, to strengthen our shared community, and to demonstrate our collective resilience, despite the pandemic and this division,” states Brown.John Brown Appointed Duke’s First Full Time Vice Provost for the Arts
Interviews with faculty, students, and Duke Performances musicians revealed how artists navigated the early months of the pandemic.
Artist interviews & faculty reflections
Published by Duke Arts to give voice to artists
In lieu of in-person thesis exhibitions
Unique visitors to arts.duke.edu in April 2020
(versus 4,574 in April 2019)
“I want Duke to be first in acknowledging the human need for art during these difficult times and to show how we, as a university, are resilient. We can lead the charge.”
Vice Provost for the Arts
“The radical nature of art, at least the truth of it that I have come to embrace, is its capacity for care, empathy, reciprocity, invitation and correspondence with others.”
Artist & Member of the Nasher Museum’s Board of Advisors
“What we will make on the other side will remind us that we must see the world differently, see and hear one another differently.”
American Ballet Theatre, Duke Performances Visiting Choreographic Artist
“Creating is healing. Taking time to create together or in solitude is an important bridge to healing and happiness in hard times.”
Nasher Museum of Art Intern
“COVID-19 has turned ‘care work’ into everyone’s work. Creative care strategies seem, to me, to be 'essential' in this time of isolation.”
Assistant Professor of the Practice, Dance
“My hope for this work was to force people, on the most basic level, to have to confront their own body, and what happens when that body doesn’t work anymore.”
MFA EDA ‘20 on her work Fibers of Being
We invited artists affiliated with the MFA EDA and the Center for Documentary Studies to share work illustrating the height of the quarantine and sequester period of the COVID-19 pandemic. This visual collection from early spring captures the early days of sheltering in place. After the brutal killing of George Floyd on May 25, as Tom Rankin (director, MFA EDA and professor of the practice of art and documentary) puts it, “the simplicity of staying home, and away, [was] supplanted with individual and collective desires to express outrage and demand change.”See the collection
Thank you to the thousands of donors and volunteers who continually support the arts. With your investments, we have created an exceptional arts culture and have woven the arts into the fabric of the Duke experience.
“Participating in the arts at Duke was an intentional part of my journey in growing into an intellectual and professional that will have a multifaceted impact on the world.”
Help shape the arts at Duke by making a gift online at arts.duke.edu/support or contact Colin Tierney at University Development to explore the many opportunities to give, from the performing arts and faculty professorships to the student arts experience.
Office of University Development