New center to support collaboration in College of Fine Arts and Communications

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    By Andrea Candrian

    Thanks to an anonymous donor, BYU”s College of Fine Arts and Communication has created the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts.

    It is the first center developed within the College of Fine Arts and Communications.

    The center will support and facilitate creative collaboration among faculty, students, artists, educators and scholars in various disciplines of the college, said Carri Jenkins, assistant to the president for University Communications.

    It”s not a physical center, but a center of influence, said Varden Hadfield, associate director for major gifts with BYU development.

    The center is designed to support joint activities among different disciplines within the college.

    “That”s how the real world is,” Hadfield said. “In the real world, people from all sorts of disciplines work together. They aren”t isolated into one specified area of study. This will help the academic experience in fine arts more accurately represent what happens in the workplace.”

    Some collaborations are already underway. Students and faculty in photography, illustration and Web design have begun working together to document ancient and modern temple symbolism.

    Another collaboration includes music composition students composing music pieces, participating in readings and recording their works through the professional group, “Ensemble Aleph.”

    Students and faculty from communications and theatre and media arts are also working together. They will be combining their efforts to create television commercials for “real world” clients. The final products of these commercials will be sent to the Clio Student Awards in New York City.

    K. Newell Dayley, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications, is the chair of the committee. The committee met for the first time last week, Hadfield said.

    The center honors the George Elijah and Fern Redd Laycock family, who grew up with a strong love for music and the arts. Their sons Ralph and Harold Laycock both served as BYU faculty in the School of Music, said Jenkins.

    The announcement of the Laycock Center took place in the HFAC on Saturday night at the BYU Combined Choral and Philharmonic Orchestra concert.

    The grants were also announced at the concert. The funds from the grants will be used over the next year. The committee decides how the funds are used.

    The center is an endowment and will continue to provide funding every year as long as the funds are invested wisely, Hadfield said.

    He said the committee of the center hopes additional contributions will be made, and as people learn about it, they will want to contribute and support it. That will enable them to better plan to do collaborative activities.

    “One challenge in the past with collaboration is it often requires a few years of advanced planning,” he said. “That”s one advantage of this center. We know we”ve got funding for the next 20 to 30 years, so we can plan several years in advance.”

    Dean Dayley said the Laycock Center is already creating a paradigm shift among the college”s faculty and students.

    “We are creating exciting new ways to work together,” he said. “This gift will have a far-reaching impact for generations to come.”

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