“The 2019 Champlain Institute gathers a remarkably diverse group of experts to help us examine ...“The 2019 Champlain Institute gathers a remarkably diverse group of experts to help us examine how art can move society through times of immense instability,” says Institute organizer Lynn Boulger, COA's dean of development.

“Art: Dissent and Diplomacy” features a slate of lectures, screenings, receptions, and book signings. 

The 2019 Champlain Institute gathers a remarkably diverse group of experts to help us examine how art can move society through times of immense instability,” said Institute organizer Lynn Boulger, COA’s dean of development. “We’ll look closely at various times in our history to see how art has shaped the conversation around critical issues of the day — and how today’s culture wars are being fought on canvases, on the big screen, and in the pages of novels.”

Art historian and curator Hannah Traore.Art historian and curator Hannah Traore.Champlain Institute speakers will join in conversation over multiple events to grapple over some of today’s biggest questions: Do artists have the right to tell the story of a gender or race not their own? When does a “female artist” or “black artist” become just an artist? What responsibility do institutions have to represent cultural heritages, races, and religions?

The Institute begins with “Bloomsbury: Private Consciousness and Social Conscience.” Art and dissent went hand-in-hand for members of the early-20th Century Bloomsbury Group, which included artists and intellectuals such as Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and E. M. Forster. Woolf’s grand-nephew Julian Bell joins Washington Post senior editor Frances Stead Sellers to discuss Bloomsbury’s relevance today.

Topics through the week include “Soul of the Nation: Art in the Time of Black Power,” “Can Islamic Art Change Minds?The Art of Dissent,” and “Who Gets to Tell the Story?

The Institute closes with “Art in the Time of Discontent.” Join Nelson-Atkins Museum Director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia and Judith Goldstein, founder and Painter Julian BellPainter Julian Belldirector of Humanity in Action, as they ask, are art museums are a new paradigm for tolerance and diplomacy or an endangered species challenged by virtue of their founding in the values of the encyclopedia?

“Art is a lever for driving our society toward a more direct, experiential, and active relationship with our surroundings,” said COA president Darron Collins ’92. “Doing so is not always comfortable, nor often easy, and the questions art addresses and raises don’t often have simple answers. It’s essential that we face these questions, however, and I can think of few better ways to do so than during the Champlain Institute.”

Institute speakers include Catherine Brown Collins, director of film, TV, and digital media programs at the U.S. Department of State, historian and scholar Ted Widmer, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Bryn Mooser, author Imbolo Mbue, former Patti Cadby Birch Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Sheila Canby, New York Times food editor Sam Sifton, author Christina Baker Kline, COA Allan Stone Chair in the Visual Arts Catherine Author Imbolo MbueAuthor Imbolo MbueClinger, SXSW Film Festival cofounder Nancy Shafer, Desson Thomson, the director of executive communications for the Motion Picture Society of America, MDI Historical Society executive director Tim Garrity, art historian John Wilmerding, Brooklyn Museum curator Ashley James, and Africa Pop Studio curator Hannah Traore.

College of the Atlantic’s annual summer event series, including Coffee & Conversations, lectures, screenings, and the mid-summer Champlain Institute, offers free presentations, salons, and art from July through early September. The summer series is underwritten by the College of the Atlantic Champlain Society. For the full schedule of intellectually stimulating cultural programs, visit coa.edu/summerevents.

All parking on campus is by permit only for the summer of 2019. Please contact Wes Norton at 207-801-5627 or wnorton@coa.edu to obtain a permit. You can pick up a permit when you arrive on campus at the Dorr Museum or at the Development Office in Turrets.