The Arts at Amherst Initiative hosts several events each year providing attendees with the opportunity to participate in informal gatherings with their colleagues and engage in conversation about art-centered work at Amherst College. These informal events, designed to foster a community of collaboration among attendees, were held both online and in-person this year. The gatherings, attended by faculty, staff, and students both within and outside of the arts, served to bring colleagues into conversation across departments and to foster interdisciplinary collaboration. This year, the Arts at Amherst Initiative hosted five events, which reached an audience of both in-person and online attendees of over one hundred.


September 28th: Welcome Reception

The Arts at Amherst Initiative welcomed new arts faculty and staff at the Bailey Brown House. The Initiative’s Welcome Reception provided the opportunity to be in community with colleagues from across campus, in person. Wine and catering from Black-owned local businesses were also provided. Fifteen faculty and staff members connected during this event.

A group of students sitting in lawn chairs in a backyard October 16: A Day of Art at Amherst—Poetry and Plants

As part of the campus-wide event sponsored by the Mead Art Museum, Book & Plow Farm, and Student Activities, the Arts at Amherst Initiative worked in collaboration with The Poetry Club to share an afternoon at the Bailey Brown House. Students read original poetry, participated in planting the Bailey Brown House garden, and learned about the role of the Initiative on campus. Thirty-one students attended this event, sharing poetry, boba, and desserts.

November 15th: Fall Soiree

This year’s Fall Soiree focused on intersections of history, culture, and art. 24 colleagues joined Professors Jude Sandy and Jeffers Engelhardt in conversations exploring their work and personal experiences with the theme. Jude Sandy is an actor, director, teacher and movement artist, born in Trinidad & Tobago, who has worked on and off-broadway and around the United States. He joined us as a visiting professor this year in the Theater and Dance Department. Jeffers Engelhardt is an ethnomusicologist and Professor of Music at Amherst College, where he is affiliated with programs in Film and Media Studies, European Studies, and the Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology. His research deals with the relationship of music, religion, secularity, and media, and music in Estonian culture and society. Complimentary wine and cheese were provided to interested attendees.

A Zoom meeting with 20 video squares in a 5 by 4 grid

May 5th: Arts Coordinator Info Session

FY22 Arts Coordinator, Theo Peierls, hosted the second Arts Coordinator Hiring Information Session. The info session, geared at Amherst College seniors and recent alumni, introduced applicants to the work of the Arts at Amherst Initiative Coordinator.

June 4th: Alumni in the Arts Reception

During the 2022 reunion program, all Amherst alumni who work in the arts or who are passionate about arts and culture were invited to the Alumni in the Arts Reception. The program was presented in partnership with the Amherst College Departments of Art & the History of Art, English, and Music; the Mead Art Museum; The Amherst Center for Russian Culture; the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning; and The Common. The event provided attendees the opportunity to connect with faculty, staff and other alumni in person while enjoying local catering and drinks.