The Desert Leaf October 2015 : Page 53

Jamie Manser/Confl uencenter for Creative Inquiry Since its offi cial inception in 2010, CCI has given out more than $2.1 million to more than 200 different projects across the UA campus. In addition to bringing big-name speakers—Noam Chomsky, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Jimmy Santiago Baca—to the UA campus, CCI has given upward of $2.1 million to more than 200 unique faculty and student projects at the university. CCI Executive Director Javier Duran dresses down for a Show & Tell event at Playground Bar & Lounge downtown. ciplinary faculty grants to professors from the three schools of focus, in the fall of 2009. By the following spring, word about the new collaborative group and the available grant money had spread, and when the provost’s council put together a day-long workshop to plan the forthcoming Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Institute that would be the fi nal result of the previ-ous year of discussion and debate, more than 100 faculty members showed up to participate. The council spent a summer scru-tinizing the fruits of that workshop and came up with a proposal for some-thing called “Confl uence: A Center for Creative Inquiry,” which was later shortened to Confl uencenter for Cre-ative Inquiry. Even the name of the center itself—from the Latin confl uere, meaning “to fl ow together”—evolved to represent the group’s larger mis-sion, to help problem-solve for hu-manity by encouraging open interdis-ciplinary dialogue. Before it obtained its current space on Helen Street—which by UA standards is at least a decorative wa-ter fountain and a full story short of what others on campus might label as “modest”—CCI was operating out of Executive Director Javier Duran’s minuscule offi ce in the Modern Lan-guages building. Duran says, although CCI is not unique in its establishment as a humanities institute, he thinks it was the fi rst of its kind to include both the fi ne arts and social sciences in its mission. He adds that the university’s commitment to the project, especially in a time of particularly tight budgets, “was a very strong signal … to the people in these areas that their work was being valued, that their future was being taken into account, and that CCI was worth investing in.” Ac-cording to Duran, this assur-ance created somewhat of an environment of optimism among faculty of the arts and liberal sciences, which led to a number of interactions and advancements that might otherwise not have been possible. “It’s hard to solve a problem if you’re only looking at it from one perspective,” he says. Associate Professor Bryan Carter of UA’s Africana Studies Depart-ment Program and Professor Kelland Thomas of the schools of Music and of Information were recent recipients of a $15,000 faculty grant from CCI to continue working on a virtual real-ity project, Virtual Harlem—.a virtual representation of Harlem, New York, as it existed during the 1920s Jazz Age. “I think faculty members really are wanting to explore the outer reaches Family Wellness FESTI AL A FREE event for the entire family Learn how to make better health, wellness and lifestyle choices ◆ INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES ◆ HEALTH & WELLNESS EXPERTS ◆ ◆ GUEST SPEAKERS ◆ SAFETY TIPS ◆ Our Sponsors: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2015 NOON – 4 PM @ the Shaw JCC Akron edible BAJA ARIZONA 3800 E. RIVER RD., TUCSON, AZ 85718 I TUCSONJCC.ORG October 2015 l DesertLeaf 53

Tucson Jewish Community Center

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