New College of Florida has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of New College’s initiative “New College: Connecting the Arts and Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast”

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New College of Florida has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of New College’s initiative “New College: Connecting the Arts and Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast.”

The project has three central goals:

  • To elevate New College’s capacity to contribute to public discourse on humanities and arts in our region
  • To build sustainable relations with local arts organizations
  • To establish sustainable academic connections with local colleges that comprise the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast (the C4 group).

The five-year grant is a testimony to New College’s strength in the humanities, to vibrancy of the arts community in the Sarasota-Manatee area, and to the promise of the C4 consortium.

“This grant from the Mellon Foundation will establish New College’s role as a champion of the humanities in the region and in Florida, and place the arts and public humanities at the center of our new consortium,” O’Shea said. “The symbolic effect of support by Mellon for public humanities and the arts cannot be understated.”

Cristle Collins Judd, senior program officer at the Foundation commented: “The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is pleased to support this creative initiative to enhance the work of the diverse institutions of the Sarasota-Manatee area as they come together to comprise a thriving arts and education alliance under the leadership of New College.“

Judd plans to visit the campus November 14-15 to speak about the value of the arts in the liberal arts and why the Foundation found the proposal compelling.

The project will be managed by the provost’s office at New College and will be directed by Professors Nova Myhill (English) and April Flakne (Philosophy).

The grant will enhance New College’s contribution to public discourse in arts and humanities by expanding existing public programs and developing a new series of open seminars that invite the community to engage with expert faculty on a wide variety of topics and methods.

The project will also build mutually beneficial relationships between the colleges and Sarasota’s arts and cultural organizations, increasing collaboration by connecting artists to the classrooms and supporting performance as a means of promoting discussion of the humanities.

In addition, the grant will support projects that bring together faculty and students across C4 colleges, such as faculty seminars and jointly developed courses that will be available to students at the colleges, and the sharing of arts and humanities opportunities between campuses.

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New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World ReportForbes and The Princeton Review, New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 38 states and 23 foreign countries. A higher proportion of New College students receive Fulbright awards than graduates from virtually all other colleges and universities.

Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at

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