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Summer Plans

It’s June, which means the campus is preparing for Commencement: The fountains are being coaxed out of hibernation, student prizes are being awarded, and the now-annual Senior Arts Gala is taking place at Bing Concert Hall. This year’s gala promises a showcase of some of the most talented performing and visual artists of the Class of 2015: dancers, painters, sculptors, classical musicians, singer/songwriters – and a bagpipe player! (This may be the Bing’s very first bagpipe performance.) Congratulations to all of our seniors for all your accomplishments at Stanford and our very best wishes as you move beyond the campus and into the next phase of your lives.

For those students who are not graduating, Stanford offers a wide variety of opportunities for internships or research projects that add to student learning, provide new experiences, and develop new skills. In particular, we have recently been adding more summer opportunities for arts-interested students, and those possibilities now range far and wide. For instance, here on campus eight first- and second-year students will be doing internships in a recently established program at the Cantor Arts Center, working in gallery planning, student engagement, social media, and more.

Many more students will be working off-campus in arts organizations around the country – in film, theater, museums, and publishing. Eighteen of these positions are specially supported by the university through a growing internship program in arts administration. Through this program, students interested in a career in the arts have the opportunity to hone their skills and develop their connections, working in organizations such as BAM, The Public Theater, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in New York; SFMOMA, SFJazz, and 826 Valencia in San Francisco; and the Huntington Library in Southern California.

And this year for the first time seven students are off to Los Angeles to do fellowships at Warner Music Group as part of the exciting new Stanford | Warner Music Group Leadership Initiative.

While some students are honing their professional skills, others are intensely working on research projects, many supported by special grants from the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Just a few examples: A sophomore interested in film is working on a project in Philadelphia to understand what it takes to “accurately” portray a wide range of races and skin colors in film footage and photography, focusing on lighting choice. Another sophomore interested in visual art will be traveling to London, Paris, Switzerland, and Northern Italy, visiting sites that were significant to the painter John Singer Sargent, to learn, among other things, how the physical environments that Sargent depicted one hundred years ago have changed or remained the same.

To all these students, we wish you all the best with your summer projects and look forward to welcoming you back to campus in the fall!