Scholar Events and Sessions OLD-taken down 3-15-14


November 12: Brainstorming with Gregory Sales

Socially Engaged Art

Gregory Sales of Arizona State University led Curb Scholars through the process of conceptualizing socially engaged art projects. Beginning with a question, irritant, or goal, Curb Scholars worked together to identify how they want to impact Vanderbilt and Nashville through a group of creative and communal projects. Stay tuned for details on their ventures in the spring semester…

November 5: Bookmaking with Jana Harper

Jana Harper introduced Curb Scholars to the craft of bookmaking—determining the grain of the paper; methods for folding and cutting; a basic pamphlet stitch; and how to create an imposition.  Using these basic techniques, Karissa, Lucy, Celina, Tony, Vinura, Keith, and Cal transformed their sensory explorations of Nashville into books.

October 29: Walking in Nashville

Professor Jana Harper of Vanderbilt’s Art Department introduced Curb Scholars to walking as a creative practice through a presentation on Situationist art and psychogeography.  The Scholars then set off on their exploration of Nashville, collecting natural and man-made objects and sensory impressions to incorporate into the books they will craft from their experiences.

October 22: Curb Scholars Take Flight!

at Abrasive Media, during a workshop on risk-taking. After learning the basic techniques of aerial dance from Audra Almond-Harvey and Justin Harvey, Curb Scholars met with leaders of community service organizations Nicole Brandt ( and Daniel Bercu (, who emphasized that when we work to change the world, we learn by doing, not planning.

October 15: Senior Showcase: Keith Berquist

After Disa Yu shared her IdeaFestival experience of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s presentation, Keith Berquist, co-founder of Studio CRB and President of Vanderbilt’s Songwriting Club, discussed his senior legacy project. Curb Scholars worked to design the promotional materials for the opening event in Keith’s concert series—the Mellodi Preview Party.

October 8: Mini IdeaFestival & Brainstorming Spring 2014

Photographs, an original song, and a dance performance were some of the ways that Curb Scholars Ames, Celina, and Matthew translated their IdeaFest experiences for their peers who couldn’t go.  Stay tuned for Curb Scholar projects inspired by the work of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova’s Discarded: USA project.

Then our Curb Scholars divided themselves into separate categorized groups and focused on brainstorming possible spring 2014 partnerships with their areas of interest.  Topics ranged from local food sources and businesses, to sustainable partnerships and fundraising, student let creative workshops, and opportunities for showcasing community artwork.


October 1: Curb Scholars become a Super Squad

The first day of October brought the Curb Scholars a chance to put on their Halloween costumes a little early.  Executive Director of abrasiveMedia Audra Harvey brought her Super Squad Program to the Curb Center to help Scholars identify the superhero within themselves.   Designed for kids and youth ages 8-14, “Super Squad is an interdisciplinary arts and innovation program utilizing professional artists from the community as teachers and mentors” and allows participants to “explore your own creative super powers and meet real heroes working in your community.”

Audra asked the Curb Scholars to identify watershed moments in their lives—turning points—when they chose to become who they are and when they realized that they had special skills and talents that could be used to help others.  Scholars shared these “origin stories” in small groups and discovered the powers that we each possess to create our own changes in the world.









In three weeks, we will see Audra again as we put on our superhero masks once more and learn how to fly!  We will meet with some Nashville community partners and try our hands at some aerial work a la Cirque du Soleil.  With any luck our Curb Scholar Super Squad will learn to defy gravity, and more importantly, take the risks necessary to become heroes in our own communities.

September 26-27: Ideafestival, Louisville, KY

Every year, Louisville hosts a world-class event, a celebration for the intellectually curious, fittingly named Ideafestival.  Innovators and global thinkers from all over the world unite to attend, discuss, examine, and imagine both current and future creative ideas that the world is experiencing and producing.

Our Curb Scholars loaded onto a bus and made the trip to Louisville to take part in this amazing conference.  Although our trip was quick, it was packed full of creative energy, philosophy, and innovation.  The sessions were as diverse as abundant, and sessions covered a wide range of topics from literature, all the way to organic farming! Businessmen and women, doctors, artists, and musicians alike gathered to take part in this truly amazing and inspiring event.

Take a moment to look some of our pictures from the event, and, check out some images of our Curb Scholars that participated with DISCARDED and made it on to their website!

September 12: Creative Challenge, Garbage Matters

On a very wet and rainy Thursday afternoon, our travels took us to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to view Vik Muniz’s Garbage Matters exhibit.  What a great opportunity this proved to be! Muniz is known for photographing his re-creations of famous historical paintings using cast-off materials (or what we would call garbage) from a local landfill in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro. After our tour, our challenge was to take cast-off items from the Frist Center to create our own masterpiece. Can you guess what we created? Take a few moments and think of a creative name for our Masterpiece!

We started with this:

and finished with this:

Name our creation!


September 3, 2013: Creative Challenge, Community & Wondering Map

Today the scholars took some time to consider their own definitions of community, and what community means to them.  Scholars listed the many different communities that they consider themselves to be a part of, or belong to.  After we discussed the varieties of communities around Vanderbilt and Nashville in general, we began tying in the personal themes and skills that we discovered from last week’s wandering map by placing our individual skills and themes next to each community we were interested in using post-it notes to create our own wondering map! This activity has helped us begin to shape our idea of community, community needs, and what we as Curb Scholars have to offer.

August 27, 2013: Creative Challenge, Wandering Map

In the first workshop of the year, the Curb Scholars were led through the exercise of creating a wandering map with Anne Reed and Cynthia Washington from the Center for Student Professional Development. The wandering maps helped the students discover themes and patterns that have shaped their lives. This was a GREAT creative challenge to begin the year!

August 15, 2013: Opening Reception


April 22, 2013: Scholar Boat Race & End of the Year Celebration

In the final session of the year, the Curb Scholars headed out to Percy Priest Lake to race their boats and frolic in the sun. Smores were toasted, farewells given and the ladies, creators of the Banana Boat, were victors in the race.

Lake SilhouettesBoat Contenders

April 15, 2013: Scholar Showcase

Today’s session was all about the scholars and the diverse array of projects they have accomplished over the course of the year. From rebuilding motorcycles to War themed musical reviews to Momentum dance movements to creating a student orchestra for non-majors to bringing music to campus to fresh baked bread–the scholars have had an active, innovative and impressive year. More links to individual projects coming soon…

Original CastBread


April 8, 2013: Visit to Ecotone Farm

First year scholars, Disa Yu and Lucy Rahner, planned and organized this week’s scholar session: a visit to a local sustainable farm. Ecotone farm is ” committed to farming for the local table in economically as well ecologically appropriate ways, and specializes in artisan eggs, heritage poultry, and pastured pork.” The farm is run full-time by CJ, who is also in the process of getting his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt. CJ led the scholars on a tour of the farm explaining the process of running the farm as well as how it maintains its Animal Welfare Approved status.

Chicken HomesMoving the Fence


Feeding the SheepOh, Donkey.

March 25, 2013: Creative Challenge, Curb Clubhouse

Junior Harvey Burrell led this week’s session in which the scholars set out to plan and construct a new creative share space. Painting, woodworking and the formation of a concrete stool were just the beginning stages of construction for this snug refuge–a place for all scholars to congregate and concoct their next creative endeavors.

Power ToolsPainting!

March 18, 2013: Creative Challenge, Boat Building

Senior Melinda Shearer led this week’s challenge where scholars were divided into two teams and asked to construct a boat from cardboard and other sundries. The boats were meant to be large enough that at least one scholar could fit inside in order to steer. At the final session of the year, the scholars will race their boats to see which craft can successfully stay afloat in the water.

Banana Boat Man Boat

March 11, 2013: Artistic Leadership Salon

Tonight the scholars were surprised by two guest speakers, Ana Marie Tavares and Martin Grossman, who were visiting campus as part of their cross-cultural partnership with Vanderbilt Studio Arts. Ana Marie and Martin gave an interactive lecture asking the scholars to explore the relationship between art, architecture and museum display.

February 25, 2013: Songwriting Challenge

Junior Keith Berquist led this musical session where the scholars were asked to collaborate creatively to produce a Curb Center ballad. The song, loosely titled “Curb Scholars Blues,” ironically focused on all the benefits and joys the scholars have received during their tenure at Curb. Instrumentation included violin, harmonica, guitar and bass.

February 18, 2013: Leadership Challenge, Everest Simulation

Tonight’s event challenged the scholars to climb Mt. Everest–a task only accomplishable if they figured out how to work together effectively. Broken into teams of five, each scholar was assigned a role (leader, marathoner, doctor, environmentalist, photographer) and given access to the simulation through the Harvard Business School. Each team member was given specific goals to achieve along the way but it was up to the powers of negotiation and communication to ensure success for all the members.

Simulation Debrief

February 11, 2013: Creative Identity Mural Project

Tonight’s event was the collaborative creation of scholars April Erwin, Danie Morrison and Lucy Rahner. Scholars were asked to sketch their silhouettes along a public wall in the curb center. Once sketched, each scholar was invited to fill in the shape with a design unique to his or her personality. The results will stand as a permanent monument to the scholars and their individuality.

Claire and HannahKeith and CalLucy and April

February 4, 2013: Creative Challenge, Scavenger Hunt

In the first scholar led session of the year, Daniel Eubanks, a senior, led the rest of the scholars on a scavenger hunt to the local Goodwill. Broken into four teams, the scholars were presented with word combinations that they were asked to demonstrate visually using items purchased at the thrift store. Word combinations included, “Engaging Art,” “Creative Enterprise” and “Curatorial Voice.” Once the scholars returned from the thrift store they presented their findings through installation and performance. Each group was asked to define their terms and give an explanation of their interpretation.

Creative EnterpriseEngaging ArtThriftingCreative Ecosystem

January 28, 2013: Scholar’s Internship Panel

The scholars took part in an informational seminar, discussing their upcoming internships that are scheduled between their junior and senior years. The senior scholars answered questions and gave advice on their personal experience both in attaining their positions and satisfying the required responsibilities.

Internship Panel

January 14, 2013: Leadership Assessment Challenge

For the first session of the new year, the scholars were challenged to self-assess their leadership behavioral style. Choosing between four distinct lists of personality traits, the scholars sorted themselves into groups. Within each group they completed a questionnaire to learn more about how their style of idea implementation functions both independently and within a dynamic group.  The scholars staged skits exemplifying how each behavioral style can be either complimentary or disadvantageous to the ultimate success of a project. The scholars then discussed how best to nurture and mediate the inclusion of all different types of leadership styles: an important skill to possess in any creative or entrepreneurial field.

December 3, 2012: Creative Leadership Salon, Triple Bottom Line

The creative team behind Everly, entrepreneurs Kyle McCollom and Chris Cole, visited the scholars to talk and answer questions about their experiences negotiating a triple bottom line company. Chris and Kyle then asked the scholars for their feedback on taste, product design and how best to present the community oriented nature of their product.

November 26, 2012: Creative Challenge, design Next semester 

Today the scholars engaged in the ultimate design challenge: Creating the best possible Spring 2013.  We played with brainstorming ideas and this is what we ended up with. Now’s it’s up to the Scholars to implement their ideas with our support.

November 12, 2012: Creative Practice Workshop, Puzzles

The scholars were split into three groups, each tasked with putting together a jigsaw puzzle as quickly as possible. After five minutes however, one scholar was elected from each group to leave the room and begin a separate project. The secondary project was to design a story-based work of art from a collection of random textiles. One by one, members of each group were asked to leave the puzzle and begin work on the art collaboration. The result–a study in group dynamics, creative problem-solving and communication.

November 5, 2012: Climb Nashville

The scholars rose to new heights with a visit to Climb Nashville, where they were led by trained instructors to challenge themselves both mentally and physically.

October 29, 2012: Denice Hicks, Artistic Director, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Denice Hicks led a workshop on giving and receiving critical feedback, drawing upon Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process and the “Exquisite Corpse Exercise.”

October 15, 2012: Gavin Ivester, Strategist, Flo Thinkery

Gavin Ivester, currently a partner and “master strategist” at the FloThinkery in Nashville, led Scholars through the strategic design process he uses with his FloThinkery clients–whether they are fresh-out-of-college entrepreneurs or multi-million companies– to help them articulate what he calls “their special sauce” for short-term and long-term success. A designer at heart, Gavin straddles the world of art and commerce, business strategy and innovation.  He shared many stories–from his days as designer of the Mac Powerbook to his tenure as Global Creative Director at Puma and Nike.

October 1, 2012: Music City Improv

Matthew Redd and David Vaughan brought their Music City Improv magic to the Scholars…

September 20-22, Scholars at the IdeaFestival in Louisville, KY

Now an annual tradition, the Scholars once again ventured to Louisville for the Ideafestival. Founded in 2000, IdeaFestival is a celebration for the intellectually curious. It’s an eclectic network of global thinkers and one-of-a-kind innovators bound together by an intense curiosity about what is impacting and shaping the future of the arts, business, technology, design,  science,  philosophy and education.

The content of IdeaFestival is as diverse as the network itself – presentations range from discussions about life before life to the existence of parallel universes; from global politics to the philosophy of randomness; from disruptive innovation to living to be 250 and beyond.

September 17, 2012: Stephanie Pruitt, Poet

As part of our “I am an Ada Artist” public art project to fight diabetes in rural African american communities, Stephanie Pruitt, last year’s Curb Center poet-in-residence, introduced the Scholars to the art of “palimpsest” or layering on and altering existing texts.

September 10, 2012: Bike Tour of Nashville, with Green Fleet Bikes

Scholars need to exercise their physical muscles too–this bike tour offered a unique way to get Scholars off campus and explore the hot spots of creative enterprise in Nashville.

September 3, 2012: Speed Dating Event with Ingram and Chancellor’s Scholarship Students

Curb Scholars Program Director, Elizabeth Long Lingo, led over 150 students in improv exercises and six rounds of our unique brand of “Speed Dating,” designed to generate new collaborations and ideas for creative projects.

August 16 and 17, Opening Creative Practice Retreat and Dinner, with Alice Randall

In collaboration with best-selling author Alice Randall, our Curb Scholars set out to tackle one of the greatest public health issues affecting our country.  1 out of 4 African-American women are caught in the battle against obesity and diabetes. Many of them are required to undergo dialysis, at a cost of $77,000, per person, per year. And yet, a 10% reduction in body weight could reduce their diabetes risk by 50%.

At our retreat, we designed a kickstarter campaign to support a dual public art and health project that will engage 6,000 women throughout what the CDC labels our nation’s “diabetes belt.”  Our project invites these women to add their stories, wisdom, and artistry to the text of Alice’s latest novel, Ada’s Rules, as they work toward losing that 10%.  The project culminates in a public art performance at the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, Alabama, on 3/3/2013.

“For scholars of creative enterprise and public leadership, learning how to design, launch, and implement a Kickstarter campaign and a collective public art project is an essential educational experience.  Our collective public art/public health project is also an exciting opportunity in higher education to bring together students from across the arts and sciences to foster meaningful change in people’s lives and communities,” said Elizabeth Long Lingo.


April 9, 2012: Nick Skytland, Director, NASA’s Open.Gov Initiative

Read Nick’s post on his experience with our Scholars here.  Learn more about NASA’s Open.Gov Initiative and Hackathon challenge.

March 26, 2012: Barry Kudrowitz, Toy designer and Professor, University of Minnesota

Barry Kudrowitz led an idea generation workshop with the Scholars, who brainstormed innovations in outdoor toys for college students.

February 27, 2012: LMG Design Studio, Rabbit Hole Creative

Scholars toured LMG Design studio, the design studio responsible for designing the lighting effects in the 2012 Superbowl Half

time show.

February 6, 2012: Design Thinking Workshop with Brent Taylor, e+ healthcare

Brent Taylor led a design thinking workshop with Curb Scholars, who in pairs, interviewed their partners about their dream wallets and then used various materials to prototype their partner’s dream wallets.

January 30, 2012: Matt Shlian, Paper Engineer

Paper engineer and artist Matt Shlian presented some of his works and taught Scholars the basics of paper-folding in a hands-on workshop. Matt is a lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. Right: Matt Shlian presents one of his pop-up paper folding designs. Check out more photos from Matt’s workshop here.

January 16, 2012: Marshmallow Challenge

The Scholars stretched their creative capacities with the completion of the Marshmallow Challenge: “The Marshmallow Challenge is a remarkably fun and instructive design exercise that encourages teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity. The task is simple: in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.”

November 14, 2011: Nancy Mathis, Communications Coach

Nancy Mathis led the Scholars in a Public Speaking and Media Training workshop, advising the development and presentation of their individual 3-minute pitches of their creative identities and work.

October 17, 2011: Jim Ed Norman, Producer, Curb Records

Jim Ed Norman hosted the Curb Scholars at the Curb Records studio, where Scholars actually got to sing a chorus for a current Curb recording project.  Scholars got an all-access tour of the recording studio and a q&a with Jim Ed Norman and his engineering team.

October 10, 2011: Andrea Franden, Film Producer

Andrea Franden presented a wokshop on storyboarding and the benefits of communicating ideas through simple images to frame a story or presentation.

September 23-24, 2011: IdeaFestival, Louisville, KY

The Curb Scholars journeyed to Louisville, KY, for their second trip to the annual Ideafestival.  Check out the website to learn more about the festival and some of the amazing speakers they have had over the years.  Speakers included Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer and assistant to President Barack Obama; and Elizabeth Scharpf, founder and Chief Instigating Officer of she: sustainable health enterprises.  Scholars documented their experiences and later shared their creative responses to IdeaFestival 2011.

September 12, 2011: Pat Slattery and Amy Wolf, VU NewsCast

Pat Slattery and Amy Wolf from VUCast led a workshop on capturing high quality video and filming under constraints.

September 5, 2011: Rich Beckman, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism, University of Miami

Rich Beckman led the Scholars in an exploration of “The Role of Visual and Audio Creativity in Storytelling.”

August 19, 2011: Opening  Creative Workshop Retreat, Rube Goldberg Challenge at Ingram Studio Arts

Read about the Curb Scholars’ Rube Goldberg Challenge and see more photos of their Rube Goldberg machines here.