An innovative new program from GW’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design has a mission to showcase artists as creative problem solvers. Launched in fall 2017, the Salon Doré Solutions on Equity Series highlights the performing and visual arts as catalysts for social change.
Named for the Corcoran’s celebrated 18th-century French drawing room, the Salon Doré series assembles cross-disciplinary thought leaders to examine a community or global issue—such as immigration— through the lens of creativity.
“Six to eight times a year we are transforming the Salon Doré into a think tank to address some of the stickiest problems that we see around culture, creativity, and equity,” says Corcoran Director Sanjit Sethi. “We bring together artists, designers, policy makers, scholars, and other cultural thinkers and ask them to come up with solutions to specific, complex problems that require an interdisciplinary and inherently creative response. The Salon Doré Series provides a format for the Corcoran to be a key driver of these conversations.”
A fundamental element of the series is collaboration; each two-day convening must be developed with an outside partner. With support from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the inaugural convening in September 2017 focused on reframing arts education to better serve the public. In November, the second convening tackled informal economies— such as the gray market—in conjunction with South Africa-based NGO Good Governance Africa.
Another signature facet of the Salon Doré Series is tangible results: All convenings must produce an output that is determined by the thought leaders. This can range from a written report to a video that details the recommendations set forth by the group.
As the series evolves, collaboration with exceptional external partners will remain a core tenet of the program. In addition, the series organizers hope to engage both current students and Corcoran alumni in future convenings. Gifts to the Salon Doré Solutions on Equity Series will support the continued growth of this pioneering platform and its vision to elevate a different— and vital—dimension of the arts.