April 30, 2019

Lewis Center for the Arts awards over $123,000 for summer projects in the arts to 52 Princeton students

The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University announces more than $123,000 in awards to support the summer projects and research of 52 Princeton undergraduates, chosen from 80 applicants. Although all first, second, and third-year student-artists are eligible to apply, for many recipients, the funding provides the resources to conduct research, undertake training, and pursue other opportunities critical to achieving their senior thesis project goals in the arts.

Three students — Runako Campbell, Gabriella Pollner, and Jhor van der Horst — have been selected for the Alex Adam ’07 Award. Established in memory of Alexander Jay Adam ’07 and made possible by a generous gift from his family, the award provides $7,500 in support to each of three Princeton undergraduates who will spend a summer pursuing a project that will result in the creation of new artistic work. While a student at Princeton, Alex Adam pursued artistic interests in creative writing and theater. Joyce Carol Oates, his creative writing professor, praised his work as “sharp-edged, unexpectedly corrosive and very funny.” He was also an actor, and performed with the Princeton Shakespeare Company, Theatre Intime, and the Program in Theater.

“The Alex Adam Award was created in loving memory of a wonderfully creative student,” says Michael Cadden, Chair of the Lewis Center. “Thanks to his family’s generosity, our young artists are able to pursue dream projects around the globe. Many past recipients have begun to build significant careers in the arts.”

Runako Campbell by trees

Princeton sophomore Runako Campbell. Photo by Noor Eemaan Jaffery.

Sophomore Runako Campbell, who is working towards a certificate in dance, will gain exposure to new movement styles, processes, and choreographers as she travels throughout Europe this summer. Through recent courses in dance and in her major, African American Studies, she has developed interests in the idea of embodied knowledge and the ways identity can inform a movement practice. Undertaking a journey of self-discovery, Campbell will begin in Hungary, to participate in Budapest International Dance Week, training with instructors from Hofesh Shechter Company and Les Ballets C de la B, among others. She will then attend the b12 Dance Festival in Berlin, Germany, to participate in movement research with choreographers such as Micaela Taylor, Olivia Ancona, Scott Jennings, and Shannon Gillen. Next, she will attend the Inaugural Orsolina28 Forsythe/Pite Summer Program in Asti, Italy, to closely study the movement practices and repertory of contemporary dance icons William Forsythe and Crystal Pite. Then she will travel to Belgium to train at Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s P.A.R.T.S. School and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Eastman Intensive. She will close out the summer in New York City dancing with one of her biggest inspirations, Kyle Abraham, at the A.I.M. summer program. Throughout these research experiences, Campbell will utilize physical training, notes, video, interviews, and other methods to assist her in crafting a personal movement language and artistic voice for her future dance thesis and ultimately, a professional career in dance.

Through the lens of photography, junior Gabriella Pollner seeks to pursue research in the fields of gender, sexuality, popular culture, and media studies. Merging a major in public policy under the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs with a certificate in the Program in Visual Arts, she will use her current studies in these subjects to delve deeper this summer into what she calls “today’s dichotomous America,” where representations of the spectacular co-exist with and contradict one another. She aims to create a documentation of experience: a cohesive, yet complex, account of beauty and queerness. From June to July, Pollner will interview subjects and photograph traditional and abstract portraits of people and monuments at World Pride in her native state of New York. These photographs and narrative texts will serve as material for her senior thesis project: the creation of an artist’s book that addresses queer identity politics through ceremonies of pageantry, pride, and protest, and one that empowers all queer-centric identities, including her own.

man in grassy field

Princeton junior Jhor van der Horst. Photo courtesy van der Horst.

Junior Jhor van der Horst will trace the origins of his ideas and vocabularies as he seeks to better use his multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary, and multi-cultural history to support himself and his community. He plans to reconnect with people who have had a formative impact on him in the past and forge new connections with communities that demonstrate distinct practices of meaning-making. Van der Horst will spend several weeks traveling to various communes with established art practices in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S.; as well as temporary art communities, including ImPulsTanz, Ponderosa, TicTac Art Center, Freiburg Contact Festival, Princeton Summer Theatre, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. At the Fringe, van der Horst hopes to present Halfway Home, a new play written by fellow Princeton student Zara Jayant and produced at the Lewis Center earlier this month under his direction. These research opportunities will equip van der Horst to create original materials for his separate theses in the Programs in Dance, Theater, and Visual Arts. His dance thesis will bring into conflict choreographic and improvisational strategies from various European traditions, with the aim of finding an embodied ritual in the process; his theater thesis is a solo show for which he adopts all creative roles in dedication to his teachers; and his visual arts thesis will involve the creation of gathering spaces and investigation into practices of hosting. In all of his interdisciplinary work, van der Horst strives to devise strategies that cultivate conversation among eclectic esoteric practices.

Juniors Abby Spare and Kevin Zou have been selected for funding through the Mallach Senior Thesis Fund. This award, established by Douglas J. Mallach ’91, supports the realization of one or two proposed senior thesis projects that incorporate historical research and create an alternative path to learning history.

abby by ocean

Princeton junior Abby Spare. Photo courtesy Abby Spare.

In the efforts to better understand German history, identity, and culture as it relates to her certificate in the Program in Theater, Spare will travel to Germany this summer. For her senior thesis, Spare has proposed acting in a production of Mother Courage and Her Children by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht. Her plans include meeting with current German theater practitioners at the Berliner Ensemble, discussing the Bauhaus movement with curators at Museum Tür Gestaltung Bauhaus, and observing contemporary cabaret performances as she researches her way through the history of German theater from the beginning of the Weimar Republic through the start of the Second World War.

For his proposed senior thesis in the Program in Creative Writing, Zou plans to finish the manuscript of his novel, You Ridiculous People. The story follows the children of high-level Chinese government officials in the aftermath of a national anti-corruption decree. Zou traces the emotions and experiences of these teenagers stranded in American boarding schools, who face extradition, orphanhood, and a general sense of being alone in a world that isn’t their own, while the homes they are exiled from no longer seem intelligible. To continue his research pertaining to extradition, corruption, and wealth in China, Zou, a philosophy major, will travel to Beijing this summer and also visit places and people with whom he has lost touch since leaving his homeland.

Juniors Bes Arnaout and Yunzi Shi have received grants from the E. Ennalls Berl 1912 and Charles Waggaman Berl 1917 Senior Thesis Award in Visual Arts, which was established in 1999 by Marie Broadhead to provide support for research, travel or other expenses of current juniors undertaking senior thesis work in the Program in Visual Arts.

Juniors Tessa Albertson, Liana Cohen, Alex Laurenzi, Estibaliz Matulewicz, Emily McLean, Allison Spann, and Bhavani Srinivas, along with sophomores Paige Allen, Tyler Ashman, Lindsay Emi, and Christopher Villani, and first-year students Daniel Bauman, Stav Bejerano, and Brenda Theresa Hayes have received funding through The Sam Hutton Fund for the Arts instituted by Thomas C. Hutton ’72 to support undergraduate summer study, travel and thesis research in the Lewis Center.

Junior Diana Chen is the recipient of the Lucas Summer Fellowship, which is presented annually to one or more visual arts concentrators for summer thesis work in any media.

Sophomore Jason Seavey has received support from the Mellor Fund for Undergraduate Research, which underwrites course, travel, and/or research costs related to studies in the creative and performing arts.

Junior Amelia Goldrup and sophomore Zhamoyani McMillan have been awarded grants from the Mary Quaintance ’84 Fund for the Creative Arts established in her memory to foster talents similar to those Quaintance developed in writing, film studies, and literature in the creative arts programs at Princeton.

First-year student Dylan Fox received a travel stipend from the Timothy K. Vasen Award for Summer Research, established in memory of Vasen, who directed plays and taught classes in the Program in Theater from 1993 through 2015 and served as the Program’s Director from 2012 until his untimely death in 2015. This fund supports summer travel for students who are pursuing creative projects at the Lewis Center.

Juniors Thomas Hoopes and Janette Lu and sophomores Benjamin Freeman and Noa Wollstein are beneficiaries of the Lawrence P. Wolfen ’87 Senior Thesis Award established for travel or research costs, materials, equipment or other expenses of current juniors for thesis work in the creative arts, especially the visual arts or graphic arts.

Junior Jenny Kim received support through the Carpenter Family Fund for Comparative Literature and the Creative Arts, established by Katherine R.R. Carpenter ’79 for collaborative projects between the Lewis Center and Department of Comparative Literature.

In addition, 21 other students have received support through the Peter B. Lewis Summer Fund, with grants ranging from $500 to $3,300.

To learn more about the Lewis Center for the Arts, the funding available to Princeton students, and the more than 100 other performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, and lectures presented by the Lewis Center, most of them free, visit

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