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ECE faculty wins second Knight Arts Challenge fund

May 3, 2013

Science of JazzDrexel University's Expressive & Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center is taking a step forward in efforts at the intersection of the arts, technology and science thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The ExCITe Centers proposal was chosen from a field of more than 1,300 initial submissions to receive funding from the foundations Knight Arts Challenge. Support will help engage and develop new audiences for the arts by developing a series of live music concerts enhanced with audio-visual technologies spanning various musical genres.

The focus will be on three major programming initiatives at the ExCITe Center: producing technologically augmented and interactive live concerts like the recent "Science of Jazz" concert during the Philadelphia Science Festival; creating hackathons for arts-related apps; and launching an artist-in-residence program to co-develop new works. Each element is an integral part of ExCITes mission to create a space where creative people can work together on innovative projects directly benefitting the Philadelphia region.

"Everyone loves live music, and most of us carry a powerful computing device -a smartphone- in our pockets," said Dr. Youngmoo Kim , director of the ExCITe Center. "The opportunity to explore this intersection for greater understanding and enjoyment of music, particularly jazz and classical performances, has yet to be fully realized."

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundations Knight Arts Challenge funds innovative projects that engage and enrich Philadelphias communities. More than 1,300 organizations, groups and individuals applied for the Philadelphia Arts Challenge this year. The field was narrowed to 69 finalists, from which ExCITes proposal was one of 43 chosen for an award.

This award also represents the continuation of a partnership between Drexel and Knight Foundation over the past several years to support the arts in Philadelphia. Kim received a Knight Arts Challenge award in 2011 to develop an interactive smartphone app for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Students at Drexels Pennoni Honors College write a serial arts column for the Philadelphia Daily News as part of a grant from the Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.