Help RISD Celebrate 75 Years of Liberal Arts

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of liberal arts studies at RISD. The Division of Liberal Arts was established in 1940 to support RISD’s new bachelor’s degree program – three years after the first full degrees were awarded. At a time when art schools often turned to larger universities to provide classes beyond the studio, RISD daringly made a commitment to its own liberal arts program in the belief that mastery in both visual and verbal disciplines would heighten the impact of artists and designers on the world around them – as professionals, leaders and agents of change.

This year and next RISD will recognize this 75th anniversary milestone by inviting members of the entire community – faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, parents – to contribute to an ongoing celebration of the liberal arts. We invite you to suggest commemorative events, works of art and design, and other items – big or small – such as recorded testimonials, historical photos, exhibitions, themed classes, public readings, exercises, symposia, receptions, posters, pamphlets, festschrifts, objects, etc.

Interested in forming a weekly reading group? Want to make and display an image that celebrates liberal arts learning? Yearning to explain how gender theory might influence architecture or the connections between postcolonial literature and textiles? Want to reminisce about your favorite Liberal Arts classes or professors at RISD? The possibilities are limited only by your motivation and imagination.

Please contact me about your ideas or simply submit commemorative items to the Liberal Arts office in the College Building. Selected submissions will be publically displayed in our Benefit Street lobby and on the 75 for 75 website currently under development.

Once we have gathered a collection of 75 commemorative items and events, we’ll host a campus-wide celebration for contributors and everyone else wanting to wish the Division well in the next chapter of its evolution.

I’m looking forward to your submissions!

Daniel Cavicchi

Dean of Liberal Arts







Liberal Arts

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