College-student attendees at Purdue Convocations performances are a common sight. And it would be easy to think that they only line up for the big names – Lady Gaga, or Macklemore for example.
It is harder to imagine these students flocking to world-renowned orchestra, ballet, jazz, or Broadway performances. But, flock they do, to the tune of about 500 students per semester!
The reason? Gifts made to our Curricular Connections education program enable students to see these performances for a discounted price, when their professors connect the shows to their curriculum.
First-year composition and contemporary dance? You bet. Organizational leadership and the Blue Man Group? Indeed. These pairings are just a few recent innovations by professors all over campus.
Brian Smith, an assistant professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication, has brought his “Introduction to Advertising” classes to see American Idiot, the Joffrey Ballet, and Shrek the Musical. He said, “Convocations is a fruitful place for my students to explore communication and advertising principles. I have my students attend the shows and then, for an assignment, create a possible advertising strategy, including messaging and target audiences. … I have been using the Curricular Connections program for the last year, and will definitely use it for the foreseeable future. It has been a real boon for my classes.”
We bring students to the theater, yet we also bring the theater to them. In February 2013, Chinese pipa player Wu Man gave a demonstration to Purdue Chinese language students, in addition to performing an evening concert with the innovative chamber orchestra The Knights.
These experiences are fully funded by gifts from generous donors and corporate partners. Support for this program helps subsidize the difference between the regular ticket price, and the discounted ticket price of $10 that the students receive.
Because of you, Friends of Convocations, these students are having unique performing arts experiences that they can and will translate to their academic work here at Purdue. Thank you!
Writer: Kate Spanke, 765-494-5840, KMSpanke@prf.org