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King Creativity awards announced for 2008-09

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    "I really like the program because it gets you working on something that is your own outside of class," says Pelham Keahey.

Two theatre projects, two physics projects and a proposal for an after-school music program were among the proposals funded this year.

Two theatre projects, two physics projects and a proposal to create an afterschool music program for elementary school children in Georgetown were among the proposals funded this year by the King Creativity Program.

The program was started in 2000 with an endowment provided by Southwestern alumnus W. Joseph “Joey” King. Each year, the endowment supports up to 20 “innovative and visionary projects” proposed by Southwestern students. This year, nine projects were funded for a total of $12,644.

Adam Carter, a senior English and theatre major, was one of two students who received grants to fund theatre projects. Carter will stage a performance of John Kennedy Toole’s popular 1981 novel A Confederacy of Dunces Dec. 4-5. He received $1,240 to help fund the production.

“It is my aim to transfer this novel onto the theatrical stage so that Southwestern can experience the brilliance, relevance and hilarity of this story firsthand,” Carter said in his proposal.

Sophomore Jessica Espinoza also received funds to stage a theatre performance. Espinoza will produce a play she has written titled “Spectres” that portrays the life of five people who are institutionalized in state schools. It will be presented April 16-18, 2009, by the Theatre for Social Justice group. Espinoza received $2,000 for her project.

Chris Elliott was one of two physics students who received grants. Elliottreceived $1,800 to build a model of a solar chimney, which could be a viable source of alternative energy. Pelham Keahey, a junior physics major, received $475 to build several unusual musical instruments that use electronic devices to produce different pitches and a device called a Ruben’s tube to visually see the different sound waves.

This is the third King Creativity Grant Keahy has received. “I really like the program because it gets you working on something that is your own outside of class,” Keahy said. “I have been lucky enough to get funded the past two years (and this year) on some cool projects that peak my interest.” Keahy used his two previous grants to design and build a low-cost solar water heater.

Andrea Plybon, a sophomore music major, received $500 to create the after school music program for elementary school children next semester. Plybon hopes to bring 10-15 children to Southwestern once a week and have Southwestern students work with them to incorporate music and the fine arts into what they are learning in school.

“For example, if in one of their classes they are reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, we might play them a piece by Beethoven and ask them which character they felt the music represented and why,” Plybon said in her proposal.

Other students receiving grants this year are:

Duncan Alexander,who received $480 to build an“Infinite Chaotic Arcade Machine” that will help introduce the campus community to new media;

Kaitlyn Dennis,who received $3,900 to help expand the SU radio station;

Casey Grier,who received $249 to produce paintings that will portray inequalities in our educational system; and

Natalie Moore,who received $2,000 to produce another Southwestern University Art Festival. The festival will be held Feb. 7, 2009.

Students will present the results of their projects at a symposium to be held on March 30, 2009.

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