Muse Scholars regularly receive invitations to attend discussions with distinguished artists, scholars and faculty, as well as offers for discounted or free tickets to stage performances both on and off campus, among other benefits described below.
(Photo, left to right: Muse Scholar Tom Dimino, Program Director Dara Meyers-Kingsley, Museum of Arts and Design Director Holly Hotchner, Muse Scholar William Chan)
Muse Arts Showcase
Held each spring, the Muse Arts Showcase offers the Muse Scholars a venue to present their creative achievements to the Hunter community while gaining valuable experience in curation, direction and communications.
Launched during the Spring 2013 semester, the showcase consists of an evening art exhibition followed by performances. Student visual artists have shown photographs, paintings, drawings and installations, while performers have played instruments, sung original and cover songs, tap-danced and read poetry and fiction.
Both portions of the showcase are planned and organized by committees of scholar curators and directors; programs and other communications are likewise created by scholar volunteers.
(photo, right: Muse Scholar Rachel Tiedemann performs during Spring 2013 Showcase; Photo, upper left: Students view art works exhibited during Spring 2014 Showcase)
Wednesdays at One
Muse Scholars are invited to participate in this lunch-time series hosted by the Hunter College Department of Theatre and the President's Theatre Advisory Board. The series brings prominent professionals from the theatre industry to Hunter to share insights about their work and careers with students.
Speakers have included MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient Anna Deavere Smith; Casting Director Ilene Starger; Directors and Producers Patty Baker, Sue Frost and Randy Adams; and Paul Libin, Executive Vice President of Jujamcyn Theaters.
(photo, above left: Muse Scholars pictured with Theatre Prof. Mark Bly and noted author Patricia Bosworth after a Wednesday at One program featuring A View from the Bridge Director Antonio Suarez)
Tickets to plays and other performances
As part of the Muse Scholar Freshman Seminar class, students attend New York stage shows - at New York City Center and Carnegie Hall, among other venues - as well as performances on campus. The program also offers special access to city cultural institutions, including the International Center of Photography, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Society of Illustrators, Chelsea art galleries, and other creative spaces.
The Muses also have special relationships with several theatre companies that have provided entrée into some of New York's most acclaimed stage shows.
The Theatre Development Fund has enabled the Muses to see award-winning Broadway productions - including Death of a Salesman, The Glass Menagerie, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and War Horse - as well Off Broadway shows, including Carrie and Little Miss Sunshine.
Another Off-Broadway group, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, has partnered with the Muses to offer tickets to productions at Cherry Lane Theatre. Scholars have so far attended Jon Fosse's A Summer Day.
At Hunter, the Muses have received free entry to Hello Gorgeous! A Salute to the Streisand Songbook at Hunter's Kaye Playhouse and Mystery!, a series of one-act Medieval mystery plays.
Aspen Institute events @ the Roosevelt House
The Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit focused on enlightened leadership and policy, often sponsors special programming at Hunter College's Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. Muse Scholars have been invited to attend these events, including one featuring artist Eric Fischl in conversation with Damian Woetzel, director of the Aspen Institute's Arts Program (photo, left), and another featuring architect Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Hirshhorn Museum director Richard Koshalek.
Special Cohort Events
The Muse Scholars receive invitations to special events and outings designed specifically for their cohort or in conjunction with other Honors cohorts at Hunter.
During the Spring 2014 semestser, for example, the Muse Scholars took a bus trip to Dia:Beacon, a renowned contemporary art museum housed in a redeveloped Nabisco factory along the Hudson River in Beacon, New York.
The Muse Scholars have also had special lunches and workshops at the Society of Illustrators, one of Hunter's cultural partners, and joined Hunter's Roosevelt Scholars on a tour of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, a memorial designed by architect Louis I. Kahn (photo, lower right).
Sally Minard, president of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, and Steven Martin, an architect on the project, hosted the tour with Roosevelt Scholar Director Pamela Falk and Muse Scholar Director Dara Meyers-Kingsley. One of the tour's more poignant moments came when students read words from President Roosevelt's 1941 Four Freedoms speech emblazoned on a pillar at the memorial--- the same words engraved on the back wall of Hunter's Roosevelt House, where classes are held for the Roosvelt Scholars and some of the Muse Scholars.
Every fall, the Muse Scholars get together for a special luncheon that introduces the incoming freshman class and allows the other classes to reconnect after summer break. The annual event is held in the Sylvia E. Fishman Student Center (photo, left).
In order to get reaquainted or to meet their colleagues, scholars have played "speed dating" games. Otherwise the luncheon provides a venue to trade ideas and information about campus activities, such as the Hunter Symphony, and publications, such asCult. Magazine, where Muse Scholar Joy Scanlon (Class of '15) serves as creative director.
Meeting with distinguished scholars and art-world leaders
Muse students are often invited to special events at Hunter featuring prominent artists, scholars and distinguished faculty.
Scholars have attended discussions and presentations by author and neurobiologist David Eagleman, filmmaker Chantal Akerman, best-selling novelist and Hunter professor Colum McCann, Arnhold Graduate Dance Program Director Kathleen Isaac, Hunter Theatre Prof. Barbara Bosch, Hunter Art Prof. and curator Max Weintraub, Hunter Gallery Curator Sarah Watson, and abstract and conceptual artist William Anastasi, among others.
During the the Spring 2014 semester, the scholars spoke with Broadway composer Jeanine Tesori (photo, left) who visited the Muse Freshman Seminar before the students saw the play Violet, for which Tesori had composed the score. Holly Hotchner, long-time director of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), spoke with Muse Scholars, Yalow Scholars and Hunter chemistry students during a special talk in the President's conference room about the intersection of art and science.