Statement of Purpose
The members class of 1961, in appreciation for the unique and valuable contribution the College has made to our lives, wish to express our gratitude by creating a continuing gift, one dedicated to the future of Dartmouth.
We wish to provide an ongoing legacy -a living gift- both to honor the importance of live performance in the arts in America, and to sustain the long tradition of the American performance in the arts -- its theatre, its music, its dance -- within the Dartmouth community.
This endowment would make provision for the presentation each year at the Hopkins Center an event which is central to the American Tradition of performance. The event would be selected from the full spectrum of available performance possibilities, including:
Theatre.. an event drawn from the great and passionate heritage of the American musical or dramatic theatre or from the cutting edge of experimental, contemporary work.
Music.. classical, jazz, blues, folk, rock and roll--expressive of the many long and varied traditions of American music.
Dance.. celebrating both the traditional and contemporary forms of dance theatre to which Dartmouth alumni have made particularly important contributions.
Through the endowment, we also intend to promote important and substantial contact between artists and the Dartmouth student community. We would strongly recommend, as part of the performance commitment, that each artist would meet with students in outreach activities-seminars, workshops, master classes, or perhaps simply, substantive question and answer sessions.
The purpose of the endowment is both to acknowledge Dartmouth's long and passionate commitment to American art in performance and to sustain and ensure that commitment for future generations of students and the larger Dartmouth community.
What follows is a more complete and less formal explanation of the endowment and its purposes and possibilities; a kind of marketing version that, one hopes, might appeal to the broad range of tastes and aspirations within our class.
The mandate here, expressed in less formal language, is to present --through this class endowment of "The American Tradition in Performance"-- opportunities for the engagement of artists from the spectrum of performance.
* In Theatre --from Washington, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre's production of Much Ado About Nothing (yes, Virginia, there is American Shakespeare!); to the irreverent Ridiculous Theatre Company's The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspre-Abridged, from Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain Tonight!, to Eric Bogosian's funky, hip one man show; from Julliard's very traditional Our Town to La Mama's hilarious and poignant drag production of Irma Vep; from New Age Vaudeville to the most outrageous and controversial performance artists-perhaps the chocolate-covered Karen Finley.
* In Music-blues, gospel, folk, jazz, classical, and the most contemporary composers--from Itzak Perlman to Bo Diddley, from Iris Dement to Yo-Yo Ma, from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, to Nine inch Nails. From the irreverent, but brilliant Bimbettas, to the versatile Frederica von Stade, and from Phillip Glass to Steven Reich.
* In Dance-ballet, modem, tap-from Paul Taylor to Twyla Tharp, from the-American Ballet Theatre to Savion Glover "putting down the beat," from Merce Cunningham to Pilobolus, from Momix to Bill T. Jones, from Susan Marshall to Mark Moms.
The Class of 1961 Endowment would provide the means to present whatever is first and finest in American performance that is coincident, as well, with the immediate artistic and educational needs reflecting the Hopkins Center's mission: to ignite and sustain a passion for the art?s within the Dartmouth community and to provide the core educational environment for the study, creation and presentation of the arts.
We think it is important to specify clearly that the endowment would provide for substantial outreach activities with students as a critical element of the performer's engagement. All things being equal, interaction with students --through workshops, master classes, seminars, even post-show question and answer sessions of substance and duration-- must weigh heavily in each year's choice.
Many classes have given gifts which generously create a place for the life of the college, memorials of bricks and mortar and landscaping. These are significant and deeply appreciated. But what we seek to do here is to contribute to the very breath of the college, its spiritual substance, to celebrate and to nourish the very soul of the arts of America through live performance within the ongoing community that is Dartmouth.
All in all, we seek to provide an annual event that is representative of the finest in the American tradition of performance. By expanding the range of possible types of performance, we ensure that issues of quality, purpose and timeliness are addressed in a substantial way. We intend to create a vital link between a rich past and a vision for the future... a legacy from the Class of 1961 which breathes the air of current and continuous inspiration drawn from the great tradition of American performance.
The Class of 1961 Presents:
The American Tradition In Performance
Contributions can be sent to: