Cornish College of the Arts to Award 2012 Honorary Degrees to Mike Daisey, et al. 5/13


Monologist Mike Daisey has been selected to receive an honorary degree from Cornish College of the Arts and will also deliver the commencement address to the class of 2012. In addition to Mr. Daisey, artist, designer, and technologist Chris Csikszentmihályi; pianist Christopher O'Riley; and renowned artist Betye Saar will also receive honorary degrees. They will be presented by President Nancy J. Uscher at the Cornish Commencement Ceremony on May 13, 2012 at 2 pm at Benaroya Hall where more than 160 students will receive Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in art, dance, design, production performance or theater.

"All of these artists are distinguished as makers of art, one of our goals for Cornish graduates," said President Uscher. "However, our mission goes further; we are preparing our students to contribute to society as artists, citizens and innovators. Each of these recipients is a visionary leader with a deep social conscience. Each has crafted a remarkable career which is also a calling--with a passion to help society think differently about life and its enormous possibilities."

Chris Csikszentmihályi, an artist, designer, and technologist, is Professor of Media Design Matters at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art and Design Research at Parsons the New School for Design. He cofounded and directed the MIT Center for Future Civic Media (C4), which was dedicated to developing technologies that strengthen communities. He also founded the MIT Media Lab's Computing Culture group, which worked to create unique media technologies for cultural and political applications. Trained as an artist, he has worked in the intersection of new technologies, media, and the arts for 16 years, lecturing, showing new media work, and presenting installations on five continents and one subcontinent.

Pianist Christopher O'Riley has stretched the piano beyond conventional boundaries, from his groundbreaking transcriptions of Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake to his unforgettably sublime interpretations of the classical canon. Mr. O'Riley has taken his unique vision to both traditional classical music venues and symphonic settings, as well as to entirely new audiences on the radio, at universities and even clubs. As host of the popular classical music radio show, National Public Radio's From The Top, Mr. O'Riley works and performs with the next generation of brilliant young musicians, demonstrating to audiences that these young artists are as interesting and diverse in their personal lives as they are in their music-making.

Celebrated for her multimedia collages, box assemblages, altars, and installations consisting of found materials, Betye Saar has explained, "I am intrigued with combining the remnant of memories, fragments of relics and ordinary objects, with the components of technology. It's a way of delving into the past and reaching into the future simultaneously." In her work, Saar voices her political, racial, religious, and gender concerns in an effort to "reach across the barriers of art and life, to bridge cultural diversities, and forge new understandings."

Tickets are not required for the event. Visit for more information.

Cornish College of the Arts is nationally recognized as a premier college of the visual and performing arts offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in dance, theater, art, design and performance production, and a Bachelor of Music degree. A pioneer in arts education, Cornish College of the Arts sprang from the remarkable vision of Nellie Cornish, a woman determined to cultivate the arts in Seattle when it was scarcely more than a frontier town. Her philosophy of educating the artist through exposure to all the arts was progressive at the time, and continues to be innovative today.

The mission of Cornish College of the Arts is to provide students aspiring to become practicing artists with an educational program of the highest possible quality, in an environment that nurtures creativity and intellectual curiosity, while preparing them to contribute to society as artists, citizens, and innovators.

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