It’s a Friday morning and Larry Thompson is between meetings. The president of Ringling College of Art and Design has much on his mind in terms of the college’s projects and collaborations for 2012 and can’t seem to spit it out fast enough.
In addition to graduating its first classes in the business of art and design and advertising, the college will also begin the first phases for a new library on campus.
“The current library has served us well, but it is outdated and undersized for our needs today,” Thompson says.
The college is also doing beta testing for a new initiative called the Applied Center for Creativity and Innovation. The goal is to create a place for businesses and organizations to be able to send their leaders and employees to learn how to tap into their creative essence.
“The top need identified is more creativity in employees,” Thompson says. “This initiative uses arts as a vehicle to move people through inhibitions and restraints in order to be able to move to where their creativity lies.”
Working within the curriculum, the college wants to give students more experiential learning when working with clients. One of the classes just finished a project with Sarasota Memorial Hospital, in which students explored the patient experience, from entering the hospital up to surgery.
Other recently completed projects include an ad-design project for the Sarasota Farmers Market, Tervis Tumbler and the Sarasota Water Department.
In addition, the digital filmmaking program’s state-of-the-art, post-production studio, which received a $1.75 million grant from Sarasota County, will be completed in 2012. Producers and directors will be able to come to Sarasota and complete the post-production work on their films and, at the same time, work side-by-side with students.
“This will enhance the learning of our students and the economic development for Sarasota,” Thompson says. “Film is one of the possibilities that could be a major development here. These producers and directors are able to come here for six to eight weeks, get to know Sarasota, learn about it and bring films to be produced. It’s a win-win-win.”
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