Civic Engagement and Partnerships
The Center connects to Philadelphia across a variety of programs and seeks to initiate and sustain collaborative partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally. Partnerships bring together faculty, students, artists, and community members to blend scholarship, social change, and the arts.
Hurford Center & VCAM Philadelphia Artist-in-Residence
Each year, the Hurford Center and VCAM host Philadelphia and area artists via an open call for creative exchanges with the Haverford community. The program’s aim is to create equitable opportunities for underrepresented and under-resourced artists by giving them a chance to further develop their practices and engage with new audiences. We’re particularly interested in working with emerging artists for whom this experience would be a transformative opportunity for their creative practices.
Applicants must be living and working in the greater Philadelphia area. While the artist will not live on Haverford’s campus, we hope that their regular presence in the College’s VCAM facility will lead to sustained engagement with the College community across the length of the residency. Stay tuned for information about our open call for the 2023-24 residency opportunity.
2022-23 Artist in Residence
Akeil Robertson-Jowers is an artist, educator, curator, student, returning citizen, and active member of the reentry community. Akeil is an ambassador and a skilled communicator able to bridge the gap between disparate peoples.. His unique position as both an insider and critic gives him the ability to offer opinions and insights not previously gleaned. Akeil is an multimedia artist, able to extend those skills to all he comes in contact with and uses these skills to create maps, prose, and bridges toward new thoughts and practices in criminal justice thinking and solutions.
Akeil’s practice is based and steeped in an idea that critical thinking is central to the way forward. Shying away from easy answers or binaries that separate and divide our communities on opposite sides of a restorative justice framework, in his work and scholarship Akeil seeks to take an honest look the intersections we all share and help us form bonds that encourage the will remove barriers in our ability to find common ground.
Akeil has been a partner in several projects including the Inaugural Philadelphia District Attorney Office Artists in Residency, Reading Work and Art For Justice Led Collaborative Web Project to forward Abolition Studies, and Assistant Muralist of Several Years. He is currently Artist in Residence at the Haverford College Hurford Center Visual, Cultural, and Media Studies. Akeil's primary mode of artistry is photography and he uses his camera to focus on and exalt humanity in a vision that we all deserve to celebrate as the heroes we are in our own right.
Supported by The House Fund for Distinguished Visiting Artist and Critics.
What Now: Making a Life in the Arts and Humanities
The Hurford Center’s new initiative “What Now: Making a Life in the Arts and Humanities” encourages students to explore careers in the arts, culture, and other creative sectors. The aim of this program is to support students who want to pursue a career in the arts and culture, as well as activate and engage the Hurford Center’s alumni and partner network. During the 2022-23 academic year, we hosted an arts internship fair featuring our summer partner organizations, including Asian Arts Initiative, PA Humanities, and more. We also organized a spring mixer that built bridges between students and alumni working across fields in the arts, culture, and humanities.
Arts and Culture Mentorship Program
Launching during the 2023-24 academic year, the Hurford Center’s Arts & Culture Mentorship Program complements the support students receive from their academic mentors by helping students form intentional relationships with folks who work in arts, culture, and other creative industries on the East Coast. The program will match students with a mentor in Haverford’s alumni and partnership network; throughout the school year, the mentor-mentee pair will meet four times, and students will engage in conversations related to the mentor’s line of work, their career journey, and other relevant advice. Check back for more information soon.