Already renowned for its fall course “Chesapeake Semester,” an interdisciplinary study of the Chesapeake Bay region, Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES) is offering another unique summer course, “Headwater to Bay,” a journey geared to inspire artistic interpretation.
Chesapeake historian, writer, and CES instructor Kate Livie will co-direct the summer program with husband and Program Manager of “Chesapeake Semester” Ben Ford. Together they will introduce a group of students to the Bay region as they “hike, paddle, cycle, camp to meet the Chesapeake’s people and landscapes, up close and personal”— and interpret their experience through various art forms.
Since 2012, Ford directs the College’s CES academic course “Chesapeake Semester” a 16-credit initiative that spends one-third of the semester in the field meeting with farmers, artists, poets, and watermen along with a comparative study that includes an 11-day trip to Guatemala and Belize where they study similar environmental conditions in different parts of the world.
“I like to say that we’re using the Chesapeake as a case study to understand more deeply that the issues that are facing any coastal community worldwide,” he says.
Livie, author of the acclaimed book Chesapeake Oysters: The Bay’s Foundation and Future, notes that the success of the Fall program inspired a different approach to learn about the Bay history and culture but through the lens of a creative.
“The fall program has been so successful, the College is really interested in how we can maximize the summer months to provide more experiential programs across disciplines within the College…so Ben and I saw an opportunity to have a summer spin-off that capitalizes on the way the Chesapeake has been a source of inspiration for artists, photographers, and writers for generations,” Livie says.
With the hope of attracting students and non-students interested in the arts, the four-week program will explore the Bay from the Susquehanna to the coastal bays where the Chesapeake meets the ocean and experience and interpret it from the vantage point of working artists using their skillset, may it be sketching, photography, videography, or creative environmental writing.
“Headwater to Bay” is a partnership between the Center for Environment and Society and the College’s newest major, “Communications and Media Studies Department.”
The Spy, for one, would be signing up tomorrow for this creative and learning adventure.
This video is approximately eight minutes in length.