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CAPA Improvisation Archive: Welcome

About CAPA

The Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) at Bennington College responds to the urgent problems of our current world, discovers what one needs to know to understand them, and acts to implement solutions. Rooted in the liberal arts with a commitment to public action, CAPA teaches the essential capacities needed to develop an educated and emboldened citizenry. Through initiatives and curriculum, CAPA leverages the classroom as a new kind of studio for innovation and informed change. With engaged scholarship, community partnerships, and creative problem-solving strategies that draw on the skills of conflict resolution, complex systems analysis, and research and design, CAPA addresses the issues of our time from a novel vantage point: action.

About the CAPA Improvisation Initiative

Improvisation as a study for research and practice has become more relevant and significant in the last twenty years. Scholars and practitioners alike are acknowledging the widespread use of language, meaning and practice related to improvisation. Areas such as dance, music, literature, science and the military discuss and utilize improvisation practices.

The goal of the CAPA Improvisation initiative is to identify the commonalities and distinct discoveries across disciplines on the use of improvisation, its meaning and relevance in today’s landscape where productive argument and engagement needs to be encouraged. Tools will be shared in the hope of clarifying the significance of improvisation and its application in everyday environments and current politics.

Current discussions are centered around:

  • Models of Improvisation: Physical Practice, Networks, Instrumentation, Governance structures  
  • Structuring Principles: Can We Learn from Each Other? What are the Principles?
  • Applying Improvisation in Problem-Solving and Building Community
  • Teaching Improvisation