Two Krieger School student groups were among the three such recipients of the first round of Arts Innovation Grants last spring, and their winning proposals will result in a new general-interest arts journal and expanded dance class offerings on the Homewood campus.
Photo by Will Kirk
The journal, as yet unnamed, is the brainchild of Shawn Fu and Derek Nnuro, both juniors in the Krieger School and friends from their high school days at Phillips Academy Andover. At Andover, Nnuro co-founded a campus political journal and served as its editor-in-chief-with Fu as layout editor-and Fu was managing editor of a general interest magazine on campus that he redesigned himself.
In their freshman year at Hopkins, the two recognized a gap in student publications; there were burgeoning specialty journals, they say, but not much that explored topics of relevance to a wider audience.
Now, with $2,000 in start-up funding from the Arts Innovation program (and additional funding from other grant sources, alumni donors, and the like), they aim to have their new publication up and running before the end of the year. Eventually, they'd like to produce two issues per semester.
Fu says the new journal will be along the lines of Harper's or the New Yorker, though Nnuro envisions a slightly different model: "I like to think of it as like the early days of Esquire," he says.
They'll employ student talent and publish reflective, personal essays, photos and photo essays, and features from all divisions of Johns Hopkins—"We hope to create a genuine amalgamation of the Hopkins experience in every issue," they wrote in their grant proposal. Over the summer, the two were tossing around story ideas exploring the Baltimore-based HBO series The Wire, and the political aspirations of Hopkins alumnus and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"If we could get him to announce [a presidential bid], I'm thinking that would be the ultimate," Nnuro says, aiming high.
Brittany Sterrett '07 and sophomore Lauren McGrath are using their grant money to provide more opportunities for Hopkins students to dance. Sterrett joined the university's modern dance company as a freshman and watched it grow from four people to 40 by her senior year. The explosion meant that the Mattin Center's dance studio was packed with dancers for its free, twice-weekly classes. Campus ballet classes were offered weekly, but the cost-$12 per class-kept many dancers away, Sterrett says, and the same was true of Peabody dance classes.
Their $2,000 grant helps pay for an additional modern dance class and a ballet class that, beginning this fall, meet twice a week in the Mattin Center. The free, non-credit classes are open to undergraduate dancers of all levels, and are led by professional instructors. The Homewood Arts Programs is providing a $2,000 match to cover the total program costs this fall.