At the Lewis Center for the Arts, we believe that art arises out of questions. Art, on a campus like Princeton’s, is so much more than an “outlet” for expressing what one already knows and feels, or an “escape hatch” for blowing off steam built up by more rigorous kinds of work. Our classes and certificate programs in Dance, Creative Writing, Theater, Music Theater, Visual Arts and in the interdisciplinary Princeton Atelier operate on the principle that rigorous artistic practice is a form of research, innovation, discovery and intervention. Like scholarship of any kind, rigorous artistic practice is a way of interrogating that which is accepted or understood in an attempt to break into the territory of the unknown or under-explored.
Through their individual creative work, Lewis Center students investigate questions about themselves, others, and the events and systems that affect us all—systems like geography, politics, gender, race, the economy, the environment, and of course the wide realm of human choice and activity. This is fundamental to the formation of artists. It is also fundamental to the formation of alert, compassionate, creative, resourceful, and active rather than passive people.
The Lewis Center is committed to being an anti-racist space. We endeavor to frequently reappraise and redouble our efforts toward this goal. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is not nominal or symbolic, but rather action-based. Our faculty, classes, public programs, co-curricular offerings and our engagement with the community beyond Princeton reflect these values.