About Us

Urchin by CODA, 2016 Cornell Biennial
About Us

The Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) is a university-wide cultural organization that provides a platform for the creation of and public discourse on the contemporary arts on campus. Through our annual grant program, exhibitions, public talks, artist residencies, special projects and student awards, the CCA promotes interdisciplinary, collaborative, and experimental artistic forms in order to inspire innovative and challenging projects by students, faculty, departments and programs from all disciplines.

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 10am-3pm

Office Phone

(607) 255-7274

Office Address

116 W Sibley Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

Mission Statement

The Cornell Council for the Arts has taken many forms since its inception in 1965. In the words of founder James McConkey, the university and its populations in every field “constitute a laboratory affording exceptional experiences through thinking, making and doing;” fostering excellence at every level to be carried outside the walls of the institution to the greater community.

The mission of the Cornell Council for the Arts is to be the conduit for this effort in the creative disciplines, including but not limited to visual arts, performing arts, creative writing and spatial, geographical aesthetics such as architecture and the landscape. It is the job of the Council to insure that these arts and the scholarly activity associated with them are equal partners in the university’s public image, and that the creative products of students and faculty alike are proudly put forward in local, national and international professional arenas.

To that end, the Council is mandated to provide both financial and philosophical support for initiatives that carry the highest innovative, experimental and life-changing potential in the arts, funding such projects through a competitive annual grant process, and initiating programs that encourage interaction with a broad variety of outside entities.

Big Soft Fungi
Big Soft Fungi, 2019-20 CCA Grant Project
Tim Murray
Director's Statement

Artistic verve lifts the spirits of the Cornell community as it reverberates across the campus. The vibrant proliferation of color, sounds, moving image, landscape, and built environment infects Big Red classrooms, exhibit halls, gardens, and labs. Imaginative intersections in art, music, performance, and design draw their inspiration from Cornell’s historical commitment to mixing creative inspiration with speculative endeavors in research, design, and pedagogy. The Ithaca campus boasts the world class Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, as well as extensive curatorial programs in new media art, hip hop, books arts, photography, film, fabric, sound, and landscape. What’s more, our internationally lauded centers of research in music, performance, film, writing, and computing infuse creative energy into our leading pedagogical programs across the fields of architecture, design, the fine arts, engineering, and the sciences.

Creation, Research, Theory, Design, Pedagogy. These artistic keywords exemplify the fabric of the Cornell Council for the Arts whose mission is to broaden the tapestry of the arts across the Cornell campuses in Ithaca, New York, Rome, and beyond, while expanding the impact and influence of Cornell artistic creativity and research throughout the nation and the globe. CCA’s sponsored projects and its international Art Biennial blend traditional strengths in classical practices such as painting, sculpting, composing, writing, acting, and designing with emergent research that brings artistic vision into contact with the latest developments in technology, computing, biology, sustainability, media, and the critical and cultural pathways forged in the humanities and social sciences. Through CCA the arts are networked anew across Cornell and the broader electronic highway. We invite Cornellians to breath the arts.

CCA formally supports the creative and performative hubs of the Johnson Museum, Cornell Cinema, and the Cornell Concert Commission, while encouraging artistic creation in architecture, performance, design, media arts, and creative writing. Our grants, performances, and exhibitions open exciting paths of collaboration with the University’s distinguished interdisciplinary centers in technology, ornithology, sustainability, biology, computing, engineering, the humanities and social sciences. CCA also celebrates the inventive dynamism of the arts that lies at the core and fabric of all of Cornell’s professional research endeavors, whether through inventive chemical mixtures of paint, emergent interfaces in computing, visual and aural interfaces of landscape and nature, stunning imaging in science and astronomy, or electrifying folds of media projection and bold shapes of architectural surface.

We invite the Cornell community to join us in intensifying the Big Red artistic verve. Artistic inspiration breeds thought; imaginative creativity breeds innovation; and aesthetic pleasure breeds energy.

Timothy Murray Biography