Creative Audience

Explore new ideas and interests with Northern Vermont University-Johnson's Creative Audience course. 

Creative Audience is a 1-credit course without a single classroom or meeting time that has been a part of the Johnson academic and first-year experience since 2009. You'll earn credit and take a step toward completing your general education requirements while enjoying a diverse range of events at Johnson. Creative Audience comprises arts, cultural, academic and athletics events offered throughout the school year, much of it connected to the current year’s Common Book. All students are required to take two semesters of Creative Audience, which involves attending four Creative Audience events per semester.

The goals of the Creative Audience course are in keeping with the Northern Vermont University’s mission that students gain self-awareness and confidence, tolerance for and appreciation of cultural and intellectual diversity, and the ability to think through and solve problems creatively. You’ll be exposed to new concepts and interests with topics that in some cases support the Common Reading Initiative.

Spring 2020 Remote Creative Audience Events

Students enrolled in Creative Audience should look for more details and assignments in Canvas through the NVU Portal.

Questions? Email

Netflix Documentary: Crip Camp

This documentary is available on Netflix and is assigned for Creative Audience students during the week of March 30.

Camp Jened was a summer camp in the Catskills for disabled teens. Directors Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht (a former Jened camper) deliver a film about a group of campers turned activists who shaped the future of the disability-rights movement and changed accessibility legislation for everyone. Filled with the spirit, music, and humor of the era, Newnham and LeBrecht speak firsthand to the seeds of empowerment that were planted at Camp Jened. Incredible camp footage from 1971 captures how the campers were finally seen beyond their disabilities. The film also shows how Camp Jened alumni led the fight for disability rights in the United States and beyond.

Creative Audience students were asked the following:

  • Why was Camp Jened such an important breeding ground for activism for so many of its campers? 
  • Did you have any stereotypes about people with disabilities before watching this film? After watching Crip Camp, do you feel like your views have changed? 

Dance: Alvin Ailey "Revelations"

This performance is available online here.

Witness an iconic masterpiece of American dance, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Described by The New York Times as “one of the great works of the human spirit,” this stunning, soulful tour de force draws on African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs, and holy blues. Featuring Wayne McGregor’s sumptuous Chroma, set to a score by Joby Talbot with orchestrations of songs by The White Stripes; Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, a powerful meeting of modern and West African dance with a soundtrack by Duke Ellington, Roy Davis, and Fela Kuti; and Robert Battle’s humorous, high-flying Takademe. 

Creative Audience students were asked the following:

  • Did you notice any interesting relationships among the dancers as individuals or in a group? Please explain.
  • How would you say the mood shifted throughout each piece?