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Center For Performing Arts Announces Inter-Domain Course Proposal Winners

Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts has selected five submitted proposals to develop into inter-domain general education courses in the coming years.

Following a call for submission in January, the center evaluated proposed courses that attempted to combine the arts with another general education subject area such as arts and humanities or health and wellness. Now, it’s selected five proposals that will be work-shopped into fully-fledged classes within the next two years.

The first, dubbed “Creativity and the Art of Human Flourishing,” will explore art, creativity, and what it means to thrive as an individual.

“Human beings, over the millennia, have turned to art in all its forms for comfort, solace, inspiration, and to help them release or express their wide range of emotions,” associate professor Molly Countermine said.

Other soon-to-be developed courses include:

  • “Improve Theater, Curriculum and Instruction,” which will introduce students to the study and practice of improv performances and how it’s taught.
  • “Climate Change and Storytelling,” which will utilize art and storytelling to explore the impacts of climate change.
  • “Performance 360,” which asks students to experience and reflect on the performing arts as a cultural practice, touristic product, and vehicle for expression.
  • “Perspectives on Aging/Lighter as We Go,” which will have students examine research on happiness, aging, and well-being using the experiences of older adults.

“We are blown away by the creativity of Penn State faculty and the desire for them to connect to the arts,” audience and program development director Amy Dupain Vashaw said. “As a brand new endeavor, we weren’t sure what to expect. What we got were well-thought-out, meaningful, student-centered proposals from all corners of the university.”

Proposals were submitted as part of “The Reflection Project: Looking at Who WE ARE,” which works to create sustainable inter-domain courses with a focus on performing arts. The initiative is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“I view the exciting cross-domain general education courses being developed as a big step forward in the Center for the Performing Arts’ integration into academic life at Penn State,” Center for the Performing Arts director George Trudeau said.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. He loves Seinfeld, is really into video games, and would wipe the floor with you in Halo. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at


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