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McNally Smith Hosted a National Liberal Arts Conference in April

The Consortium for the Liberal Education of Artists (CLEA) is holding its eight biennial conference at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN, from April 9 to 11, 2009. Since 1993, this association of top music schools and other arts-focused colleges and departments has worked to strengthen the liberal education of college students enrolled in institutions dedicated to the training of performing artists. The conferences include varied discussions on the important role of liberal arts in educating the whole artist for a life in the arts.

Colleges attending the conference at McNally Smith include include: Berklee College of Music (Boston), Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore), Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle), Columbia College (Chicago), Musicians’ Institute (Hollywood), North Carolina School for the Arts, University of the Arts (Philadelphia), and Walnut Hill School (Massachusetts).

This year’s CLEA conference theme is “The First Year (in)Experience.” The conference will focus on the exciting and challenging transition young artists and musicians make from high school into college. Educators from arts high schools have also been invited to participate in the conference to share their perspectives, ideas, and concerns with their CLEA colleagues. One of the topics under this year’s theme is the important role technology plays in students’ transition into college. The generation currently entering colleges – whose members have been dubbed “Digital Natives” in reference to the fact that they have been surrounded by digital technology their entire lives – present particular opportunities and challenges for CLEA schools. The upcoming conference at McNally Smith will tackle that topic and many others.

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