Abbot Academy Association Awards a Total of $162,697 to 31 Projects

The Abbot Academy Association granted a total of $162,697 to fund 31 projects proposed by Andover students and faculty members for the 2012-2013 school year. The proposals ranged from the creation of a World War II Plastic Model Building Club to the launch of an “Exploring Theatre” guest workshop and performance series.

The largest grant of $29,320 was awarded to the Addison Gallery of American Art for its upcoming fall exhibition and artists’ residency, titled “The Innu Project: with Wendy Ewald [AA’69] and Eric Gottesman [’94].”

“[The project] will offer many opportunities to learn about the representation of the Innu people [of Labrador] and the social, economic, cultural and environmental challenges they have faced since their forced settlement in the 1960s,” wrote Susannah Abbott, Director of Development at the Addison, in an e-mail to The Phillipian.

The Abbot grant will largely be used to fund a week-long visit of six members of the Innu community in Sheshatshiu, Labrador to Andover to participate in the project, according to Abbott. Collaborating with artists Ewald and Gottesman, the six will create a series of banners inspired by the project to install around campus.

Gregory Hosono ’14 and Kailash Sundaram ’15 were awarded $2,000 to fund a school-wide workshop in the fall, titled “d.Andover: Design Thinking Workshop.”

Hosono said, “The overarching goal of creating a ‘design thinking workshop’ is to provide an opportunity for the members of the Phillips Academy community to gain the creative confidence and collaborative ability to make steps toward becoming a more innovative community.”

Susannah Hyde ’13, Eliana Kwartler ’12 and Erin Strong, Instructor and Chair in Theatre and Dance, were awarded a grant to fund a guest workshop and performance series titled “Exploring Theatre.”

The program will invite a wide range of artists to perform and hold workshops with students on campus over the course of the next year, according to Kwartler.

“I’m excited that we’re working with a diverse range of artists. Some, like [improv company] ‘Baby Wants Candy,’ are more well known, while others are local performers and artists that we want to support,” wrote Kwartler in an e-mail to The Phillipian. “The goal of ‘Exploring Theater’ is to give students at Andover a chance to learn about different types of theater, from improv to performance art to Shakespeare.”

Christopher Blackwood ’12, Luacs Png ’13 and Benjamin Yi ’14 received $7,500 to purchase equipment for the Andover Moviemakers Club.

The grant will go towards updating and increasing the club’s video camera equipment, according to Yi.

Png said, “[The grant] will not only help the club film better movies and allow us to film multiple projects at the same time, but also contribute to the community, as the films we make are usually for community consumption.”

In an e-mail to The Phillipian, Yi wrote, “As a club, we make videos for the community whenever requested, but also try to accommodate many students who have an interest in filmmaking. The latter part of our role as a club is what we want to concentrate in the upcoming years.”

The club plans to start a film version of “Drama Labs,” which will culminate each term in community screenings of student-produced short films, according to Yi.

Anna Stacy ’13 received a grant to bring Lesley Flanigan, an experimental musician, to campus to instruct students “in making and using her characteristic [microphone] instruments,” wrote Stacy in an e-mail to The Phillipian. “These instruments function very differently from conventional instruments in that they produce random tones rather than specific pitches,” Stacy explained.

According to Stacy’s current plans, the instructional program will span three days: students will create instruments on the first day, rehearse on the second and show off what they’ve learned from Flanigan in a concert on the third.

Stacy said, “Because [experimental music] is a medium that is quickly rising in the field of music worldwide, I feel it’s important to bring it to the Andover music community.”

Oscar Chim ‘13, Iman Masmoudi ’14 and Junius Williams ‘14 were awarded an Abbot grant of $10,460 to fund a lecture in the fall on the Arab Spring.

Masmoudi said the grant will fund a visit from Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American religious studies scholar, who will deliver a lecture titled “Youth Revolt: The Future of the New Middle East.”

“[The goal of our project is] to educate our campus about the Arab Spring’s causes, effects and future. We hope that [the lecture] will inform the community about these important revolutions in the Middle East,” said Masmoudi.

Natalie Schorr, Abbot Academy Association Coordinator and Instructor in French, said that the proposal for the Arab Spring lecture caught her attention.

“I was really interested in the lecture on the Arab Spring… it will [inform] a lot of students who might not know much about the Arab World,” she said.

Another project that caught Schorr’s eye was the creation of a World War II Plastic Model Building Club, proposed by Michael Michiue ’14.

“[Michiue’s proposal] is an example of a small grant that [represents] exactly what Abbot grants are supposed to do. [The club] creates a piece of history to bring awareness to the past in a fun and engaging way,” said Schorr.

The Abbot Academy Association was founded in 1973 and has provided funding for student and faculty endeavors since the merger of Andover and Abbot Academy in the same year.