South by Southwest Conference 2012

March 2012

RISD President John Maeda took his STEAM message to Austin’s 2012 South by Southwest Conference, where he moderated the panel “STEM to STEAM: Injecting Art and Design Into the Modern Curriculum” and continued to advocate for the essential role of Art + Design in advancing America’s innovation fields.

“We know that art moves us and we know that art engages us,” panelist Deborah Gist observed, and the Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner went on to emphasize how that sort of engagement leads to innovation.  She lobbied for the dynamic integration of art and science in education, calling the popular imperative to choose between student achievement and rich learning experiences “a false choice.”

South by Southwest—the annual Texas conference that is a premier destination for creative thinkers—is itself an intersection of art and emerging technology, bringing together musicians, filmmakers, and innovative tech industry leaders for a week of performance and critical conversation.

Maeda’s STEAM panelists included:

Sarah Ganz, PhD
Director of Education, RISD Museum of Art

Deborah Gist, EdD
Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner

Brian Smith, PhD
Dean, RISD Continuing Education 

Marina McDougall
Arts Project Director, San Francisco

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