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Block Break 5 Newsletter

Dear Parents and Alumni, 

In this season of New Year's resolutions, we renewed our focus on nurturing creativity and building a generation of "changemakers" -a commitment that will extend beyond 2018 and into our students' future lives. 

Lynda Barry

We began the semester with our largest Half Block yet! The Career Center offered 20 Dynamic Half Block courses, many of which explored the intersection of creativity and the professional world. Some offerings included: Building Your Freelance Writing Business with writer Anne Braatas '76, the Creative Projects Masterclass with novelist Andrew Pyper and Professor Steven Hayward, and Advertising Agency Immersion with executives Millie Olson '68 and Camille Blakely '84. Our Half Block visitors also mentored students through the Professionals-in-Residenceseries, which included a workshop on leveraging improv theatre techniques in the job market. 

This emphasis on creativity carried into our Block 5 classrooms. We welcomed Peter Breslow, a Peabody winner and senior producer of NPR's "Weekend Edition," back to campus for the fourth consecutive year. Breslow again teamed up with Professor Hayward to teach a class in Audio Journalism, which included Skype sessions with several NPR luminaries. Another course that promoted innovation was Executive Faculty in Residence John Mann's "Coffee Marketing Challenge." Students in this economics class spent a week connecting with local coffee growers in Nicaragua, then used their insights to develop a marketing strategy for selling the craft coffee in Colorado Springs. 

Our 2018 Cornerstone Arts Week featured interdisciplinary programming around this year's theme: "What is the Creative Brain?" Robert Sapolsky delivered a keynote lecture on "The Biology of Human Creativity," as well as meeting with several students for a convergence class. Our second keynote speaker, Lynda Barry, also hosted a workshop for students on comics and artistic expression. Additionally, Nelson Kies '18 and Monica Black '19 curated a student art installation on "The Creative Brain." 

The Fine Arts Center opened three new exhibits this month, which showcase multimedia art from across the globe. One exhibit, "The Art of Haiti: Loas, History, and Memory," explores the contemporary significance of Haitian art. The installation includes a mural painted by Haitian artist Ralph Allen and CC student Quang Vu '18. Additionally, the FAC is featuring an animated video exhibit by Japanese artist Chiho Aoshima and an organic object installation by Yoshitomo Saito.

Another exciting opportunity for students is the Big Idea competition. On February 8, the five finalist teams pitched their ventures to a panel of distinguished judges. Last year's second place team, Chica Chocolate, returned to win this year's competition! As they built their hormone-balancing herbal chocolate business over the past year, team members Cassidy Lam '19 and Elise Morgan exemplified the resilience we hope to foster in our students. 

Through our liberal arts experience, we cultivate spaces for taking risks, connecting dots, and pursuing passions. Nurturing this creativity in our students will prepare them to make their mark on the world. 

Best regards,

President Jill Tiefenthaler